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tv   Washington Journal Mark Miller  CSPAN  February 11, 2019 1:48pm-2:00pm EST

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mississippi, and washington are five of the states that added one new member. representative anthony gonzalez was a football star at ohio state before the indianapolis colts drafted him in 2007. after injuries cut short his professional football career, representative gonzalez earned his m.b.a. at stanford business school. he's the first latino elected to ohio's congressional delegation. representative carol miller served over a decade in the statehouse before voters in west virginia's third district elected her to congress. politics runs in her family. she's the daughter of former congressman samuel divine whose seat would later be filled by future ohio governor and 2016 presidential candidate john kasich. congressman michael guest was a local prosecutor in mississippi for nearly 25 years. the last decade as district attorney before his election to the house. he's also a sunday school teacher at his local baptist
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hoich. representative david trone and his brother opened a small liquor store in delaware in early 1990's. kpt moved its headquarters to maryland and expanded to become the largest independent fine wine retailer in the country. and washington's eighth district elected representative kim schrier, a pediatrician and only female doctor in congress. new congress, new leaders. watch it all on c-span. "washin" continues. host: we take a look at how your money is at work in the federal government. this week, we are focusing on the future of social security, and we are drunk by mark miller, and columnist for "reuters." give us a state of social security and america? --in america? most: it remains the
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beneficial retirement benefit for most americans. it is ubiquitous and is something that people will rely on dream retirement. but they faced challenges. a lot of your listeners, your viewers, probably heard about clipooming 2034 financial that social security is facing. there are financial challenges that social security is facing. they are fixable and i don't think anybody should be in a panic mode about social security. host: can you start with just how social security is funded in the first place and where the revenue streams are? guest: it is self-funded through the payroll tax and split evenly between workers and employers, and it totals 12.4%. and that is collected on wages up to about $133,000 this year.
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taxme above that level, no is collected, and that is how it is financed. that is the primary source of financing. a lesser important source is interest earned on the reserve funds of social security. another relatively speaking an important source is taxes -- income taxes collected on benefits of higher income social security beneficiaries. host: so where does the shortfall come into play? guest: sure. social security has been building substantial surplus since 1983, which is the last time social security had major reforms done. and currently, it has surpluses of $2.8 trillion. that those reserves are starting to draw down now as the baby boom generation ages, reaches retirement age and starts drawing benefits. year at a point that the trust fund reserves will be exhausted
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-- we are at a point that the trust fund reserves will be exhausted. fluctuates year-to-year, but not by much. what that means is when the reserves are gone, there would only be sufficient revenue coming in from current payments to fund about 75% of benefits, so we are looking at a really sharp 25% across-the-board cut in social security benefits, if nothing is done. that is the big caveat. host: what are the other options? guest: the options are, you can either increase revenue, or you can cut benefits, or you can do some combination of the two to restore the solvency of the bygram, and social security law, must project out a 75 year solvency ramp. ways of fixing the system, people talk the 75
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your solvency picture. host: we are talking about the future of social security. we can look 75 years out of closer. we will put the phone lines on the screen throughout this discussion with mark miller. our phone lines in the central eastern united states, 202-748-8000. if you are in the mountain or pacific time zones, 202-748-8001 . mark miller, one of the members of congress looking to try to help this program for the long-term is congressman john larson, a democrat from connecticut, unveiled a proposal to do just that. from the bit congressman talking about the future of social security. [video clip] >> since 1993, there has not then an adjustment in social security, but people continue to pay in and we have reserves in social security, but we don't
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have enough to sustain us by law for the 75 year period that social security should be. part of proposal does that. we make sure -- our proposal does that. that we extend social security beyond the 75 year deadline, but also, recognize we have to enhance the program, primarily we have far too many people in our country, most notably women, and especially women of caller, who are retiring with social security as their only source of income command retiring into poverty. walk mark miller, can you us through the proposal in the passage on capitol hill? guest: the interesting thing with larson's proposal is it references a change in a dialogue about the social security reform. over the last decade, the conversation has been dominated benefitse need to cut
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-- what we need to do to cut benefits? since 2013, the progressive wing of the democratic party has been saying, no, we should have a modest expansion of social security benefits as part of an effort to solve the 2034 problem. that has gone from being a minority position in the democratic party to a majority position. larson's bill has more than 200 -- on the democratic side. many of the democrats in the house are supporting his belt. every declared presidential candidate and those expected to support social security expansion of some kind, not necessarily the specifics of larson's bill. social security expansion, as part of this reform, has now moved into the mainstream of the democratic party. host: mark miller with us for the next 25 minutes, getting your thoughts and taking your
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questions as we talk about the future of social security. specializingalist, in retirement and aging. bob is up first. caller: please bear with me. this is simple map. it is the greatest extortion of all time. you pay into it, they take your money for 35 years. your employer also has to match that, the same amount. if i was able to take that money, and put it in a bank account, and collect interest for 40 years, i would have a very substantial amount of money, and i could retire simply off that. but money that the government takes from you, you don't even get the interest back on what they accumulated from you for 40 years. you don't even get the interest. another thing, my brother just passed away at the age of 61 last year. um, employed through general
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motors for 38 years. he was at the top end obtain the maximum for medicare and social security. never collected a dime. never hear a politician talk about the people who pass away and never collected a dime. if he was able to say that money, he would have it for my sister in law and two sons. over $1.5ed it at million that the government stole from him. host: mark miller? guest: my condolences on your loss. the point i would like to make is one of the things i hope will emerge from a debate about social security reform is a renewed sense of the definition of a social security is. an it is our -- and it is our bedrock social security program. like an insurance
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program. if we think about, and it also operates as a pension, the way it pays out benefits, so looking at it from a dollar in an interest gain with a drawdown sense is not the right comparison. goingsurance program is to have some people who are relatively winners through great longevity, and losers who do not collect because of a premature death. but social security just doesn't ensure retirement. it also ensures survivors. is a breadwinner in a family passes away prematurely, there are survivor benefits that can be paid to that family. and benefits -- there are widows benefits. so, slipping the coin in looking
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at it from the winning perspective, people who live to advanced age is coming into their 90's, windup drawing down more than they put in, but they have to wait in the insurance words. repurchase fire insurance on her wees not that we expect -- purchase fire insurance on our homes, not that we expect a fire to burn down -- not that we expect a fire to burn down our home. we have to look at social security in the concept of insurance. lynette is next from utah. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you. i am about to turn 67. and >> we'll leave

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