port of harlem magazine
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The Debt Ceiling, Social Security and You
Feb 09 – Feb 22, 2022
Money Talks

social security works

As the US debt ceiling talks walk toward center stage, so has talks on whether to cut Social Security payments, payments, which 46 percent of African Americans rely on for more than 90 percent of their retirement income.

Republican attempts to tie raising America’s credit card limits to budget cuts prompted Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD) to write, “McCarthy & the GOP know that raising the debt ceiling is constitutionally required. That’s why they raised it 3 times while Trump added nearly 25% of our debt with his tax giveaways to the rich. Their sudden fiscal concern camouflages their plan to cut Social Security & Medicare.”

However, there are many issues besides Social Security’s criticalness to many African Americans that Port of Harlem reported in past issues. We took a look in our archives and found these two very informative, but simple to read articles covering some of these other issues often hovering beneath the surface.

"Social Security Expansion on the Table"

Social security is the third leg of the “retirement stool” and women and minorities are the least likely to have the other two legs long enough to make their “three-legged” stool stable. Besides Social Security, the other two legs are access to employer-sponsored retirement accounts and personal retirement savings.

Peter Arno of the Political Economy Research Institute favors lifting the $118,500 taxable income cap (for Social Security). Because of the cap, he said, six percent of the labor force has been exempted from making contributions on about one trillion dollars of wealth.

"Your Retirement and Social Security Expansion

Steven Hill, author of “Expand Social Security NOW! How to Ensure Americans Get the Retirement They Deserve,” calls on ending tax deductions (subsidies) for 401(k)s, which largely benefit people in the top 20 percent income bracket, and for doubling the amount of social security payments. He suggests paying for his proposals by taxing all income equally and taxing unearned income (income on investments).

“Even the language we use to describe social security is “rigged” to make voters believe it is a handout, when it is not since virtually all recipients have had to pay premiums over the course of their lifetimes in order to receive the benefits.”

Raskins’ warning was buffeted by a recent House vote denouncing socialism. Several Democrats who voted against the resolution expressed concerns regarding the future of Social Security and Medicare. They noted that Republicans on the Rules Committee rejected an amendment proposed by Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) which sought to clarify that opposition to the implementation of socialist policies in the U.S. does not include federal programs like Medicare and Social Security.
Also see: Social Security Works for Everyone! (the book). Social Security Works for Everyone!, is an evolution of the argument Social Security Works' advocacy group co-founders Nancy J. Altman and Eric R. Kingson made in their acclaimed first book, Social Security Works!

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