Seniors

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My opponent, Mimi Walters, supported YES on reducing tax payments on Social Security benefits (Bill sponsored by Archer, R-TX; Bill HR 4865). Walters Supported NO on strengthening the Social Security Lockbox (Motion to Recommit introduced by Rangel, D-NY; Bill HR 1259). Walters supported YES to reduce taxes on Social Security earnings (Contract with America 93-CWA9). Walters supported YES on Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (Bill sponsored by Hastert, R-IL; Bill HR 1). Walters voted NO on Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2015 (Bill sponsored by Welch; D-VT; Bill HR 3061). She wants to bankrupt Social Security and Medicare programs as soon as possible. She is considered anti-senior by the Alliance for Retired Americans.  Once again, she isn't working for WE the People. Instead, she is working for her Wall Street and Billionaire Class campaign contributors. See which industries are Walters' largest contributors here!

Walters’ Voting/Support Record:

  • YES on reducing tax payments on Social Security benefits (Bill sponsored by Archer, R-TX; Bill HR 4865)
  • NO on strengthening the Social Security Lockbox (Motion to Recommit introduced by Rangel, D-NY; Bill HR 1259)
  • YES on reducing taxes on Social Security earnings
  • YES on Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (Bill sponsored by Hastert, R-IL; Bill HR 1)
  • NO on Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2015 (Bill sponsored by Welch, D-VT; Bill HR 3061)
  • NOT standing up for WE the People

Varasteh’s Congressional Pledge:

  • Defend and strengthen Social Security for seniors
  • Defend and strengthen Medicare for seniors
  • Increase IRA limits
  • Reform pension plans
  • Standing up for WE the People
  • Not for sale

Social Security

Although sometimes Social Security is portrayed as a wasteful government hand-out, it's actually funded by taxpayers through the payroll tax. These deductions from our paychecks don't disappear into some nebulous government account, but rather are paid back to us upon retirement. Payments made into Social Security are also given back to individuals who get injured and ensure that family members are financially protected when someone passes away.

Indeed, Social Security has been one of the most successful social programs in American history. Before President Franklin D. Roosevelt introduced the Social Security system in 1935, over half of seniors lived in poverty. Today, that number is less than 10 percent thanks to Society Security. By any measure, Social Security has been an astounding success, and we can continue to benefit from this program by making sure that all Americans pay their fare share.

Currently, any income above $118,500 isn't subject to the payroll tax. That means individuals millionaires and billionaires pay the same amount towards social security as someone who makes $118,500 a year. This isn't fair, and it's only natural that everyone pays an amount of payroll tax that is commensurate with their income-- otherwise the middle-class will continue to be disproportionately burdened by the system.

This is why, as a congressman, I will support legislation which lifts the cap on payroll taxes to $250,000. The additional amount of payroll taxes each individual pays under this proposal will be small, but in the aggregate it will enable the Social Security system to continue protecting Americans of all ages, races. and income levels.

To ensure the sustainability of Social Security we also need to re-consider how CPI (Consumer Price Index) is calculated. CPI is still based on outdated criteria that don’t accurately assess the real cost of living in America today. In particular, housing and medical expenses have skyrocketed in recent decades, yet CPI doesn’t take these into consideration when calculating seniors’ cost of living. This oversight must be corrected in order for Social Security to be effective.

Our seniors have worked hard their whole lives, and they must continue to enjoy the fruits of their labor. By strengthening Social Security and Medicare we can make sure that seniors are cared for a way that reflects their long-time contribution to our communities.

My opponent, Mimi Walters, supported YES on reducing tax payments on Social Security benefits (Bill sponsored by Archer, R-TX; Bill HR 4865). Walters Supported NO on strengthening the Social Security Lockbox (Motion to Recommit introduced by Rangel, D-NY; Bill HR 1259). Walters supported YES to reduce taxes on Social Security earnings (Contract with America 93-CWA9). Walters supported YES on Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (Bill sponsored by Hastert, R-IL; Bill HR 1). Walters voted NO on Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2015 (Bill sponsored by Welch; D-VT; Bill HR 3061). She wants to bankrupt Social Security and Medicare programs as soon as possible. She is considered anti-senior by the Alliance for Retired Americans. Once again, she isn't working for WE the People. Instead, she is working for her Wall Street and Billionaire Class campaign contributors. See which industries are Walters' largest contributors here!

Walters’ Voting/Support Record:

  • YES on reducing tax payments on Social Security benefits (Bill sponsored by Archer, R-TX; Bill HR 4865)
  • NO on strengthening the Social Security Lockbox (Motion to Recommit introduced by Rangel, D-NY; Bill HR 1259)
  • YES on reducing taxes on Social Security earnings
  • YES on Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (Bill sponsored by Hastert, R-IL; Bill HR 1)
  • NO on Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2015 (Bill sponsored by Welch, D-VT; Bill HR 3061)
  • NOT standing up for WE the People

Varasteh’s Congressional Pledge:

  • Defend and strengthen Social Security for seniors
  • Defend and strengthen Medicare for seniors
  • Increase IRA limits
  • Reform pension plans
  • Standing up for WE the People
  • Not for sale

Medicare

Medicare was designed to provide health insurance for our seniors, and it was created in 1965 under the leadership of Lyndon B. Johnson. However, it took almost 40 years for Congress to enact a law which authorized Medicare to pay for prescription drugs. In 2003, Congress passed the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) under the shortsighted leadership of George W. Bush. This act added a “Part D” to the Medicare section of the social security laws.

Medicare is an extremely successful senior health insurance program-- in fact, so successful, that it can operate efficiency even though only 3% of Medicare’s budget is spent on overhead costs. Compare this number to other private health insurance companies! Because private companies must give a large portion of their income to shareholders and executives, a whopping 30-35% of the average private insurer’s budget is spent on dividend payments, lavish executive compensation packages (that often include huge bonuses), and other overhead costs.

Many people were hoping that Part D would finally give seniors a chance to access affordable medicine. However, Part D explicitly prohibited the government from negotiating directly with drug companies for volume discounts, thereby giving drug companies the green light to set any price they want. Not surprisingly, big pharma set high prices and the government has had no choice but to cover these costs.

Supporters of Part D might argue that banning these negotiations was the only way to get the law passed, as the pharmaceutical industry is so powerful and donates so much money to politicians. But times have changed.The American people are fed up with politicians doing favors for moneyed special interests, and 87% of Americans support lifting the ban on drug negotiations.

Critics of Part D also say it was intentionally underfunded in order to destabilize the entire Medicare system, with the ultimate goal of dismantling and privatizing Medicare. That would be a big mistake. Medicare has worked well for generations, and I don’t think Medicare should be destabilized-- on the contrary, we should expand Medicare so that all Americans have health insurance and access to affordable drugs. To do this, we need to lift the prohibition against drug price negotiations and ensure that Medicare is well funded by crafting smart tax and fiscal policies. To ensure that Medicare is well-funded, we must make smart budget cuts across the board. In doing so, we need to place all options on the table.

Our seniors have worked hard their whole lives, and they must continue to enjoy the fruits of their labor. By strengthening Social Security and Medicare we can make sure that seniors are cared for a way that reflects their long-time contribution to our communities.

My opponent, Mimi Walters, supported YES on reducing tax payments on Social Security benefits (Bill sponsored by Archer, R-TX; Bill HR 4865). Walters Supported NO on strengthening the Social Security Lockbox (Motion to Recommit introduced by Rangel, D-NY; Bill HR 1259). Walters supported YES to reduce taxes on Social Security earnings (Contract with America 93-CWA9). Walters supported YES on Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (Bill sponsored by Hastert, R-IL; Bill HR 1). Walters voted NO on Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2015 (Bill sponsored by Welch; D-VT; Bill HR 3061). She wants to bankrupt Social Security and Medicare programs as soon as possible. She is considered anti-senior by the Alliance for Retired Americans. Once again, she isn't working for WE the People. Instead, she is working for her Wall Street and Billionaire Class campaign contributors. See which industries are Walters' largest contributors here!

Walters’ Voting/Support Record:

  • YES on reducing tax payments on Social Security benefits (Bill sponsored by Archer, R-TX; Bill HR 4865)
  • NO on strengthening the Social Security Lockbox (Motion to Recommit introduced by Rangel, D-NY; Bill HR 1259)
  • YES on reducing taxes on Social Security earnings
  • YES on Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (Bill sponsored by Hastert, R-IL; Bill HR 1)
  • NO on Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2015 (Bill sponsored by Welch, D-VT; Bill HR 3061)
  • NOT standing up for WE the People

Varasteh’s Congressional Pledge:

  • Defend and strengthen Social Security for seniors
  • Defend and strengthen Medicare for seniors
  • Increase IRA limits
  • Reform pension plans
  • Standing up for WE the People
  • Not for sale