More than a half million Nevadans who receive Social Security benefits would see an extra $200 a month and larger annual benefit increases, under a Social Security reform plan released by Elizabeth Warren Thursday.
Warren’s plan would also change rules that, according to Warren, effectively deprive low-income households, people with disabilities, and people of color of adequate benefits.
The plan would also bring public employees, whose public pay in Nevada as in many states is excluded from Social Security, into the system — a reform that Warren’s campaign estimates would boost benefits for more than 43,000 Nevadans.
Warren also proposes creating a credit to increase benefits for caregivers who have foregone job earnings — and Social Security contributions used to calculate benefits — because they have been caring for family members instead of working for pay. The campaign estimates nearly 350,000 Nevadans would be eligible for the credit.
Warren proposes to pay for the increased and enhanced benefits chiefly by taxing incomes that are currently exempt from Social Security taxes: a 14.8 percent payroll tax on earnings of more than $250,000 a year, and a separate 14.8 percent tax on investment income with thresholds equal to $250,000 for a single taxpayer and $400,000 for a married couple filing jointly.
“Congress hasn’t increased Social Security benefits in nearly fifty years,” Warren wrote in a Medium post describing her plan. “When Washington politicians discuss the program, it’s mostly to debate about whether to cut benefits by a lot or a little bit.”
“We need to get our priorities straight,” Warren wrote. “We should be increasing Social Security benefits and asking the richest Americans to contribute their fair share to the program.”
Other leading Democratic presidential candidates have released Social Security plans with elements similar to Warren’s. Joe Biden released a Social Security plan in July that increases benefits, particularly for low income workers, and increases taxes, though the specifics on the tax increases haven’t been announced.
Bernie Sanders would boost benefits on average by $1,300 a year, and also tax incomes over $250,000, through a 12.4 percent payroll tax and a 6.2 percent tax on investment income over $200,000 for single people and $250,000 for couples.