Sometimes we take things for granted and forget that social security is the U.S. most successful program in the history of the nation, (Sanders 1); this is a statement on social security by Bernard Sanders, the U.S Senator from Vermont and a candidate for the 2016 U.S. president election. His statement underpins the relevance of the social security in keeping millions of American citizens, orphans, the disabled, and widows out of extreme poverty. Before the development of the social security program 75 years ago, half of American seniors languished in poverty. In contrast, today more than 53 million Americans receive social security benefits and only 10% living in poverty. It cannot be ignored that in the 21st Century, social security is more imperative than ever. Bernie explains that more than a third of American citizens are dependent on the Social Security as their income (berniesanders.com). Therefore, it is important to expand and strengthen social security as millions of citizens rely on the benefits. In this light, this study will discuss Sanders standpoint on the issue of Social Security.
According to Seitz-Wald of the MSNBC News, Sanders draws a distinction from front-runner Hillary Clinton. Secretary Clinton raised eyebrows when she declined to endorse the expansion of the social security benefits. Certainly, Clinton has a strong disagreement on the issue. In Contrast, Sanders favours the idea of expanding the social security benefits by eliminating the taxable income. Sanders argues that raising the payroll tax cap would mean increasing taxes on families (1). In his press release statement, Bernie Sanders indicates that social security is facing attacks from people who want to make cuts or privatize it completely (Sanders 1). He later explains that a super-committee in the Congress is planning to make decisions to cut the social security by a significant amount. In defence, the committee argues that there is an imperative deficit problem and a national debt of $14 trillion, and U.S. cannot afford to maintain social security benefits. However, Sanders disputes this sentiment and coins that the social security is not funded by the U.S. Treasury but by the payroll tax (2).
Sanders is planning to introduce the Keeping Social Security Act when the Senate continues its sessions; this he believes will create a fairness and social security solvent for the next decades. Additionally, this policy aims at strengthening the current social security legislature by asking the wealthy Americans also to pay their fair share in the social security. Consequently, Bernie Sanders maintains his standpoint and argues that such a legislature will ensure all Americans, rich or poor, disabled or able will not live in abject poverty. However, as Smith argues, his sentiments are almost 100% false. The author indicates that his views are not realistic and accurate, and they represent a politician's outlook (1). Regardless, it is crucial not to ignore Sanders remark that social security is indeed going broke. Almost 30% of American seniors aged 55 and older are not getting a retirement package or benefit. Sanders standpoint along with Martin OMalley, fellow 2016 hopeful feel that expanding the social security will be beneficial to America. Even if expanding the social security is not the answer and solution to the problem, the looming retirement crisis is irrefutable. It is no argument that Sanders will have done a ton of good if he gets this conversation started in a practical way at the Senate opening.
Under Senator Sanders proposal, raising the social security benefits aims at lifting retired Americans out of poverty; this according to the presidential hopeful remains as a universal program. The Senator proposes raising the social security benefits by $65/month on average as well as enhancing the cost of living allowances. Bernie Sanders counters the opposing views of critics by indicating that the increased tax that will cater for expansion of the social security benefits will come from wealthiest people in America. This proposal also has the potential to bring enough revenue to increase the benefits of low-income citizens. Not only is his stand morally correct, but also what the vast majority of American people want. According to his website (berniesanders.com), 61% of Americans support the expansion of the social security benefits through Bernies ideas such as lifting the taxable income cap. Moreover, at a time when millions of Americans are working 40 hours a week for lower wages, Sanders legislation will certainly reduce the inequality of income level in the U.S. Bernies standpoint on expanding the social security ensures that every in America retires with respect and dignity they deserve (Sanders).
It is important to realize that amid the controversy surrounding the expansion of the social security, Bernie Sanders proposal to raise the tax on the wealthy might indeed extend the life of the program hence increase the benefits for millions of American seniors. If Sanders can get the debate started during the Congress sessions, then that might be a starting point even if he does not win a single primary.
Bernie Sanders,. 'Sanders: Boost Social Security Benefits - Bernie Sanders'. N.p., 2015. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.
Sanders, Bernard. 'Statement by Sen. Bernard Sanders on Social Security'. https://www.sanders.senate.gov. N.p., 2015. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.
Seitz-Wald, Alex. 'Dems Have 'Strong Disagreement' On Social Security, Sanders Says'. MSNBC. N.p., 2015. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.
Smith, Brenton. 'OPINION: Bernie Sanders Doesn't Quite Get It On Social Security - IVN.Us'. IVN.us. N.p., 2015. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.
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