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Power Breakfast: To Raise, Or Not To Raise The Retirement Age

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In the discussion over whether Social Security is stable -- and if so, for how long -- members of this Congress are picking sides. While some favor raising the retirement age, others want to compensate for the demographic shift by requiring wealthier Americans to pay more into the system.

The government withholds Social Security taxes only on the first $106,000 dollars in annual income. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) is pushing a bill that would raise that cap.

"Why is it that someone who makes $50,000 a year pays on every last dollar they make to pay into Social Security?" he asks. "But someone who makes $500,000 a year only pays on 20 cents of every dollar. Why is that?"

The rhetorical battle is between raising taxes on one side and adding years to Americans' working lives on the other. In the end, the answer may involve both. On this much, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) speaks for many in Washington.

"At least we have to have a discussion about the best way to make sure to we can strengthen and secure Social Security," he says.

The bipartisan "Gang of Six" senators is expected to submit a plan for social security when they return from April recess.


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