Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks to Alliance for Retired Americans national convention on September 8, 2011. Photo courtesy of the office of Senator Sanders. 
The Keeping Our Social Security Promises Act, S.1558, introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) , strengthens Social Security for future generations without cutting benefits. The bill “goes big” for the nation’s most important pension, life and disability insurance plan.
Before we get into the details of the Sanders bill , though, it is worth providing a little background on just what serious Washington people mean when they talk about “going big.”
A week ago, a group of more than 60 budget hawks of both parties sent a letter  to the Super Committee asking its members to “go big” and propose a large-scale deficit-reduction package in excess of their $1.5 trillion goal.
There is no doubt that this letter, organized by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), a think tank funded by right-wing billionaire Peter G. Peterson, had Social Security in mind when they called for the Super Committee to “go big.” After all, no fewer than four of its signers voted for the Fiscal Commission deficit reduction proposal, which recommended cutting Social Security benefits by as much as 40 percent. Among them, Former Senator Alan K. Simpson (R-WY), whose apparent expertise in Social Security led him to call it a “Ponzi scheme” long before it was cool.
Social Security does not and cannot contribute to the deficit. It has a $2.7 trillion surplus and is prevented by law from borrowing.
But assuming we accept the letter signers’ premise that Social Security must be part of any deficit-reduction package with aspirations to “go big,” there is a perfectly sound bill in Congress that does just that.
Meet the Sanders bill:  It’s simple, fair, and enormously popular. It has even attracted the support of Moderate Democrats like Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who is among the bills 9 original co-sponsors and who also signed the CRFB letter. Somehow I imagine it is not what the Alan Simpsons of the world had in mind, but they should give it a second look.
The Sanders bill (S.1558) closes Social Security’s 75-year funding gap by applying Social Security payroll tax contributions to covered earnings of $250,000 or more. Currently, only wages up to $106,800 are taxed.
S. 1558 will:
Views expressed are those of the author, and do not reflect the opinions of Social Security Works or the Strengthen Social Security Campaign.