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Thursday, June 02, 2016

President Obama Leans into Social Security Expansion

Jared Bernstein:

President Obama leans into Social Security expansion: “It’s time we finally made Social Security more generous and increased its benefits so today’s retirees and future generations get the dignified retirement that they have earned.” 
Guess who said that? Bernie Sanders? Hillary Clinton? The Donald? Sen. Warren? Dean Baker? Me? None of the above.
Those words were spoken by President Obama on Wednesday in his economics speech in Elkhart, Ind. ...
But wouldn’t it be fiscally reckless to expand benefits, say, for low-income retirees? Well, first, you heard the president suggest a “payfor,” by increasing taxes on those at the top of the scale. In fact..., there’s now a smaller share of covered earnings below the tax max: about 81 percent now vs. 90 percent a few decades ago. So there’s a real margin for new revenue to support the program.
Second, if you consider the three-legged retirement security stool — savings, pensions and Social Security — for many less well-off aging people, the latter is in the best financial shape of all..., contrary to critics’ false claims, it ain’t exactly going broke.
That said, the big point here is that we should get the venerable program on a more solid fiscal trajectory, one that doesn’t just close the long-term funding gap but considers an expansion of the type the president suggested. ...
It’s great to hear the president defending this essential, efficient, progressive program. ...

    Posted by on Thursday, June 2, 2016 at 10:44 AM in Economics, Social Insurance, Social Security | Permalink  Comments (26)


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