Whitehouse: Tax the Billionaires and Save Social Security

From the Whitehouse Press Office:
Senators Offering Amendment to Protect Social Security in Budget

Washington, DC – As the Senate continues debating the Republican budget proposal this week, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) will offer an amendment to guard against potential efforts to cut Social Security benefits. The Democratic amendment would establish as “not in order” any budget proposals that would reduce Social Security benefits, increase the retirement age, or privatize Social Security.

Senator Whitehouse will speak on the Senate floor at approximately 4:00 p.m. to call up this amendment. Please tune in on C-Span 2 or online. The amendment was filed by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), in addition to Whitehouse.

“Social Security benefits are a solemn promise that our seniors have earned over a lifetime of work,” said Whitehouse. “Sadly, Republicans have made it their mission for decades to dismantle that promise, attempting to turn it over to Wall Street and cut benefits through misguided ideas like the so-called ‘chained-CPI.’ Our amendment would protect Social Security from these kinds of right-wing attacks and ensure that seniors can continue to count on the benefits they have earned.”

“Social Security is the most successful government program in our nation’s history. Through good times and bad, Social Security has paid out every benefit owed to every eligible American,” Sanders said. “The most effective way to strengthen Social Security for the future is to eliminate the cap on the payroll tax on all income above $250,000 so millionaires and billionaires pay the same share as everyone else.”

The amendment could come up for a vote on the floor as early as this afternoon or tomorrow.

Social Security is projected to remain fully solvent through 2033 and is not driving our current budget deficits. Senator Whitehouse has long argued that it has no place in short-term budget debates, and supports a long-term solution that would make the program solvent for future generations by asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share into the system.

The Arnold Foundation is Betting Big On Pay for Success – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

It’s hard to think of a funder that is more obsessed with finding breakthrough solutions than the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. One day, it’s laying out big bucks to find alternatives to expensive college textbooks, and the next day, it’s forging a left-right coalition to reform criminal justice policies.

Its big move last week? Pumping $8.4 million into a major initiative at the Urban Institute to advance Pay for Success (PFS), which aims to reward successful programs in the social sector. The investment will pay for a variety of technical resources aimed at bolstering and evaluating PFS projects, with an eye toward upping the game of all the players involved in PFS: government, service providers, evaluators, and funders. Tools developed by the Urban Institute will help to structure deals, determine which projects are most effective and cost-efficient, and set benchmarks for success.

via The Arnold Foundation is Betting Big On Pay for Success – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

A Credit Union Foundation with a Big Heart for Housing – Housing – Inside Philanthropy

Member-funded credit unions have a strong capacity to positively impact the community, not only in providing lower cost financial services, but also in providing funding for programs that respond to community needs. An example of a state credit union that is pushing the boundaries of impact in housing: the State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) Foundation of North Carolina, which recently announced a new investment of $10 million over a three-year period to build or renovate a home in every one of the state’s 100 counties.

via A Credit Union Foundation with a Big Heart for Housing – Housing – Inside Philanthropy.

What Are Prize-Linked Savings Accounts? And Why’s Kellogg So Keen on Them?  – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

As the U.S. economy continues to recover from the Great Recession, funders are looking for ways to support good financial habits like saving money. One interesting effort along these lines is the Kellogg Foundation’s multi-year investment in prize-linked savings accounts through D2D.

via What Are Prize-Linked Savings Accounts? And Why’s Kellogg So Keen on Them?  – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

A Reformed Peddler of Cigarettes Coughs Up $5 Million to Make the Next Gen Tobacco Free – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

Last year, CVS made a landmark commitment to end sales of cigarette and other tobacco products at its more than 7,800 retail stores. CVS was the first national pharmacy chain to do so, so that was a big deal.

Apparently, though, the company feels guilty for all the years that it did sell cigarettes. After all, what the heck was a pharmacy doing selling products that can kill people?

via A Reformed Peddler of Cigarettes Coughs Up $5 Million to Make the Next Gen Tobacco Free – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Memo to Funders: Fight Exclusionary Zoning to Make Headway Against Inequality – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

Hell, yes, the rent is too damn high, higher than ever in fact. The reasons why are myriad: a shortage of rental properties, millions of families de-homed in the financial crash, and lending restrictions that have been tightened up in the process of financial recovery. The building sector is still recovering from the crash as well, so new housing hasn’t been added at the same pace as before the Great Recession. Meanwhile, family income, when adjusted for inflation is below what it was in 1989.

via Memo to Funders: Fight Exclusionary Zoning to Make Headway Against Inequality – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Guess Who’s Becoming a Major Grantmaker for Workforce Development? Walmart – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

Walmart’s goal in funding a new $100 million initiative is to make training and advancement more accessible to low-wage, unskilled, and uneducated workers—and maybe even get them on a path to the middle class.

Guess Who’s Becoming a Major Grantmaker for Workforce Development? Walmart – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.