Begich said he would introduce the Social Security Fairness of Act when senators return from recess next week.
His bill would lift the cap on high-income earners. Currently, income of more than $113,700 is not subject to the payroll tax, which funds the Social Security trust fund. Begich said eliminating this cap and taxing all income would keep Social Security solvent for the next 75 years.
Begich’s bill would also change the way cost-of-living adjustments are calculated. It would replace the consumer price index (CPI) for workers with a formula commonly called CPI for the elderly (CPI-E), which would increase seniors’ benefits.
He said he could not support a “chained CPI,” which was included in President Obama’s 2014 budget. Begich said a chained CPI hits low-income seniors and people with disabilities especially hard because it would reduce their benefit payments over time. But Republicans have insisted on including a chained CPI in any entitlement reform legislation.
The Social Security trust fund is spending more in benefit payments than it is currently taking in, meaning it will eventually run out of money if nothing is done.