Bernie Sanders Says Cardi B Is Right About This Huge Political Issue
Rapper sensation Cardi B recently revealed the one president who earns her highest approval — Franklin Delano Roosevelt. On Twitter, Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders agreed with Cardi B on Roosevelt's contribution to truly making America great, and their shared reverence all hails back to Social Security.
Cardi B's enthusiasm for government and presidential history was unveiled in a recent interview with GQ. She told the magazine, "I love government. I'm obsessed with presidents. I'm obsessed to know how the system works."
Then, Cardi B launched into an explanation of her love for FDR. She noted his role in helping the United States recover from the Great Depression, praising his concern for the country over his own physical struggles with polio. "He's the real 'Make America Great Again,' because if it wasn't for him, old people wouldn't even get Social Security," she told GQ's Caity Weaver.
And on that point, Sanders heartily agrees. Quoting a tweet from the account Social Security Works — that had itself posted Cardi B's quote on Social Security — Sanders chimed in with his approval. "Cardi B is right," he wrote. "If we are really going to make America great we need to strengthen Social Security so that seniors are able to retire with the dignity they deserve."
In the GQ piece, Weaver indicates she was unaware of FDR's founding role in the nation's Social Security program. But indeed it was the 32nd president that signed Social Security into law in 1935. It fell under the larger umbrella of FDR's renown "New Deal" programs, a host of government-run agencies and initiatives meant to return the United States to economic stability following the stock market crash of 1929 that set off the Great Depression.
It should come as no surprise to anyone holding even a passing familiarity with Sanders' political outlook that he supports a robust Social Security system. On his personal website, Sanders calls it "the most successful program in our nation's history."
And the program's role in American life looks set to only increase in coming years. Sanders points out that more than half of working adults aged 55 - 64 have literally no dollars in a personal retirement fund. He also reminds readers of the stark reality for one out of every five senior citizens — an annual budget of just $8,300. It's very difficult to imagine what kind of life is possible on such a pittance.
Sanders' plan to keep Social Security solvent — and more generous to some of its most needy beneficiaries — involves raising the cap on taxable income into the program. As of 2018, anyone who makes $118,500 or more pays exactly the same amount of money into Social Security. Billionaires — certainly one of Sanders' favorite targets — are not paying their "fair share," in the senator's estimation. Raising the percentage of income the very wealthy pay into the system is one of his proposals for ensuring solvency for at least the next 50 years.
Not everyone thinks Sanders' plan will work. Brenton Smith outlined a number of critiques for The Hill in 2016. Chief amongst them was the uncertain contingency of very rosy economic prospects in order to assure the needed numbers come rolling into Social Security's coffers. Sanders also wants to phase Social Security payments out entirely to those who make more than $250,000 annually. But as Smith points out, given inflation, this could mean for a 25-year-old who enters the system today the equivalent of being disqualified for Social Security with just $90,000/year of income.
Regardless of the actual potential for Sanders' plan to save Social Security, he and Cardi B are definitely right about one thing — the program is of singular importance to the United States. Send your regards to FDR.