Hours before the third round of the Democratic primary debate, presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) unveiled a social security plan that would see benefits go up by $200 a month for every current and future recipient and would be funded by a tax increase on the wealthy.
“It’s getting harder to save enough for a decent retirement,” Warren wrote in her medium post announcing her plan, which attempts to appeal to older American voters.
The plan, she says, will also update “outdated rules to further increase benefits for lower-income families, women, people with disabilities, public-sector workers, and people of color.”
Warren said current social security benefits are “quite small” noting that the average beneficiary receives about $1,354 a month or $16,248 a year in 2019. She said her plan “would provide the biggest and most progressive increase in Social Security benefits in nearly half a century.”
The Massachusetts senator said she intends to pay for the hike in government spending on social security—which will total to $150 billion in its first year, according to the New York Times—with her plan to change how the rich are taxed.
Her plan involves raising the contribution requirements of the nation’s top 2 percent earners by imposing a 14.8 percent tax on wages for individuals who earn more than $250,000 a year, which will be split equally between employees and employers. Moreover, the plan also imposes a new 14.8 percent tax on investment income on individuals making more than $250,000 or families making more than $400,000 annually.
The latest Social Security Administration (SSA) Trustees report projects that the combined funds reserves are forecast to be depleted in 2035. According to the SSA, there were about 68 million people receiving social security benefits, supplemental security income, or both as of July 2019.
Warren has proposed a number of radical policies during her campaign including a plan to overhaul the nation’s immigration system, including a plan to decriminalize unauthorized entry into the United States.
“We should repeal this criminal prohibition to prevent future abuse. As president, I will immediately issue guidance to end criminal prosecutions for simple administrative immigration violations; end Operation Streamline, which subjects migrants to mass prosecutions,” she wrote on Medium.
Warren told HuffPost in a statement on June 25 that she is in favor of fellow 2020 candidate Julián Castro’s plan to repeal a law that says unauthorized entry into the United States illegal.
“We should not be criminalizing mamas and babies trying to flee violence at home or trying to build a better future,” Warren told the news outlet.
“We must pass comprehensive immigration reform that is in line with our values, creates a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants including our DREAMers, and protects our borders,” she added.
Warren will share a stage for the first time with Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). The three candidates are currently taking the lead on the polls with Biden averaging at 26.8 percent, Sanders at 17.3 percent, and Warren at 16.8 percent, according to RealClear Politics.