#PA13: Social Security Becomes a Top Issue

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Nick Field writes a very generous political history of Marjorie Margolies’s long tightrope walk on raising the Social Security retirement age.

My takeaway is that Democratic politics has changed enough that she *probably* wouldn’t support raising the retirement age again, but why take the risk? With Daylin Leach and Val Arkoosh both on the record in favor of expanding Social Security in this super liberal D+13 district, a purity contest on this issue is both appropriate and desirable.

I thought it was a bit weird that Arkoosh got the endorsement from NCPSSM, since she only endorsed the general concept of Mark Begich’s Preserving and Protecting Social Security Act from what I’ve seen, and was not familiar with it when I asked her about it. Daylin has endorsed that bill straightforwardly.

This is all spurring me to finally transcribe the interview I did with Daylin a couple months back, which will make it clear he’s got the higher purity position than what Arkoosh has gone on the record with.

You can read more about the Begich bill here, but basically he uncaps the income threshold for Social Security taxes (currently set at $110K) but he gives high earners an equivalent increase in benefits, and he shifts the inflation measure “CPI-E” which weights things that seniors buy more heavily. So it’s a benefit increase, but it also makes the program solvent and able to pay full benefits through 2085.

This entry was posted in Economy, US House.

7 Responses to #PA13: Social Security Becomes a Top Issue

  1. Tim Potts says:

    Why not give people the option to increase what they put into Social Security as a retirement plan instead of 401(k) plans? The earlier they make extra payments, the larger their ultimate benefit becomes. Why shouldn’t all citizens have that option?

    • phillydem says:

      Social security isn’t an investment plan. It’s an insurance annuity and despite what most people think, benefits are pay-as-you-go with current payers’ contributions funding current social security recipients. At some point benefits will be paid by a combination of current payers and federal govt general funds, not returns from any investment.

      Your proposal might work if everyone was allowed into the federal employee Thrift Savings Plan which IS a mutual fund type investment vehicle designed to supplement social security.

      • Tim Potts says:

        Thanks. I’ll check it out.

        • phillydem says:

          It’s not exactly, but Obama’s MyRA sounds very similar to TSP, which, I should have mentioned, is a mutual fund run by the federal gov’t and ranges from funds for the risk-averse (t-bills) to the high risk/high reward investors.
          Off the top of my head, I think all the funds are index funds and not “managed” funds. When federal retirement was switched from defined benefit (CSRS) to defined contribution (FERS), TSP was set up to compliment the SSI and basic pension components.

  2. Tsuyoshi says:

    Is there a difference between the Harkin plan and the Begich plan?

  3. Pingback: INTERVIEW: Daylin Leach on Social Security, Marijuana Reform, and Political Leadership for #PA13 - Keystone Politics