Earlier today we had a wide-ranging conversation with Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio about the fight to expand Social Security and the social safety net.
We began by discussing the bill Sen. Brown has co-sponsored , which would lift the payroll tax cap (which means high-income earners would contribute more) and would strengthen benefits by more accurately calculating cost-of-living increases for seniors and the disabled (under the so-called “CPI-E formula”).
From there we moved to the politics of the Social Security fight, the importance of the issue to Democrats’ 2014 hopes, and the key role of populism in this struggle. I asked Sen. Brown whether he felt it would ever be possible to recruit Republicans into the fight to expand Social Security, the way he has teamed with Sen. David Vetter on limiting “too big to fail” banks. His answer may interest you.
We also discussed the GOP’s assault on Social Security disability insurance (SSDI), which led me to make a comment about ending “government by anecdote.” Sen. Brown’s response to that remark was a well needed correction.
Sherrod Brown has been a strong fighter for Social Security, meaningful bank reform, and other issues which are important to the American people. His thoughts on these subjects are well worth a listen.