A proposal from House Republicans to end the taxation of Social Security benefits is a “constructive initiative” that could lead to a bipartisan agreement, Joe Lieberman, a former senator from Connecticut and vice presidential nominee, tells Newsmax.
“It’s a really interesting idea and it’s an affirmative idea,” Lieberman said on Newsmax’s “Eric Bolling: The Balance” Friday night.
“The last thing I saw that happened to Social Security is that Bernie Sanders recommended an increase of $200 a month for every recipient.”
Removing taxes, or even reducing them would be a “big boost for a lot of seniors,” Lieberman, a one-time Democrat who became an independent, added.
“The statistics are surprising to a lot of people, but for 40% of seniors in America, Social Security is the only income they have, and so it really matters a lot,” said Lieberman. “When you add in inflation, that makes it even harder these days. So I guess the question is always how much does it cost and can we afford it, but it sounds like a good initiative.”
He added that he admires House Republicans for bringing up the idea, particularly after some Republicans recommended cuts in Social Security, while others such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, and “everyone else with power in the Republican Congress said, ‘No way.'”
“This is the way to go back on the affirmative, and then they might be surprised at the number of Democrats who agree,” said Lieberman.
Bolling pointed out that Democrats might not agree with losing the tax revenue from Social Security, but Lieberman called the program a “third rail” that is “electrified” in American politics.
“When I was in the Senate, one-time President George W. Bush recommended what was described as privatizing Social Security right at the beginning of a second term, and it just got overwhelmed and withdrew,” said Lieberman.
In addition, while Democrats may worry about the lost tax revenue, “they’re going to be favorable to seniors from a humanitarian point of view,” he said.
“Though it’s true seniors get across living on Social Security, honestly, if that’s all you depend on, let’s say it’s $20,000 or $25,000 a year, that’s pretty hard to live on that these days,” said Lieberman.
Meanwhile, Social Security trust fund leaders are saying that about in a dozen years, the program will not have enough money to pay for benefits, “so you’ve got to sort of balance it out,” said Lieberman. “You put this kind of proposal on the floor of the House or the Senate. I bet you it passes.”
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