Democrats Push for Social Security Expansion

In response to a declining federal budget deficit, Democrats have begun to push for expansions in Social Security benefits, rather than simply opposing cuts. President Obama’s proposal to use Chained-CPI as a measure for inflation, a move that would have resulted in an effective benefit cut, has been replaced by a new measure known as CPI-E, a system which supposedly adjusts for inflation based on the different ways in which seniors spend money, and which would amount to a benefit increase.

The requested expansion would put a strain on an already insolvent program, but Democrats have proposed paying for the benefits by removing the income cap on the Social Security FICA tax, which currently kicks in at $113,700 of income a year.

The plan is being floated by Senators Tom Harkin and Mark Begich, and is expected to meet heavy opposition from the Republican side.