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Congresswoman Chellie Pingree backs bill to strengthen Social Security Representing the 1st District of Maine Go directly to page content

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Legislation would also guarantee adequate cost of living adjustments for Maine's 300,000 SS recipients

A bill cosponsored by Congresswoman Chellie Pingree and introduced this week would guarantee 300,000 Social Security recipients in Maine get adequate cost of living increases and extend the solvency of Social Security for 75 years.

"Seniors didn't get a cost of living increase for the last two years because the government said prices didn't go up, but anyone who is trying to get by on Social Security while paying for heat, food and prescriptions will tell you that just isn't true," Pingree said. "This bill would create a cost of living index that reflects what seniors really are paying to get by."

Currently the government uses a consumer price index (CPI) to determine when seniors get a cost of living increase, but the index doesn't always reflect the true cost of living for elderly Americans. The bill Pingree has co-sponsored would create a CPI-E--an index specifically designed to take into account the expenses that seniors face. The bill also guarantees an annual $250 payment to all Social Security recipients in years when the new CPI-E doesn't call for a cost of living increase.

Pingree said the bill will also strengthen Social Security by lifting the cap on Social Security taxes paid by wealthy taxpayers. Currently high income Americans don't pay Social Security taxes on income over $106,800, but the bill Pingree is cosponsoring would end that tax break for the wealthy. The bill would also allow an those high income wage earners to collect more from Social Security if they contribute more.

"This bill really does two things--it makes it a little easier for seniors struggling to get by while guaranteeing that Social Security is sound and secure for the next 75 years," Pingree said.

According to the Social Security Administration, eliminating the tax break for wealthy wage earners would guarantee the systems' solvency through 2083.

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