RE: Social Security -- I will support these benefits, earned benefits that you and every other working American have paid into every working hour of your life. However, we do need to strengthen this program or it will not be able to meet it's commitments. I think it's time for us to look at raising the income cap to bring in additional revenues and balance the fund.
Hola Maggie! we have focused on facilitating greater trade and commerce at our bridges -- those activities support nearly 100,000 jobs in El Paso; we're working with small locally owned businesses to make them more competitive in seeking federal contracts like those at Fort Bliss; and we are supporting initiatives at UTEP, MCA and Tech to make sure that we're developing the intellectual capital that will become the basis for high-skill high-wage job growth in the future.
I do not support chained CPI, which effectively lowers the amount our veterans and seniors will take home from the benefits that they've earned in working and in service to our country. My preference is that we raise the income cap, which currently mandates that only the first ~$106,000 is taxed for Social Security -- why not raise that cap so that higher earners are paying into the fund on a greater portion of their income?
Woody, I'd be happy to look into this, but this has not been brought to our attention. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get you a direct response.
Here is a question we got emailed from Alicia: How have students from Mexico who have visas been affected by increased scrutiny since the Boston bombings? What are your ideas for keeping things safe but not adversely affecting these students, some or most of whom have been coming to the U.S. for school for years?
Just a quick note we're wrapping up in about 10 minutes.
quick correcting -- current income cap for Social Security tax is $133,700 -- thanks Jeff
A question via Facebook from David M.: Would you consider pursuing the reformation and nationalization of our banking system?
Paco -- I know the vast majority of gun owners in EP are responsible -- they own guns for self protection, hunting, sport or collecting. So I am wary of new regulations. However, I think that requiring universal background checks is something that I can fully support -- we don't want felons, the mentally ill or those with a history of violence to acquire guns.
another correction re income cap -- $113,700 is the correct #
David, not interested in nationalizing our banking system. I do however think we need to reinstate Glass Steagall or something like that we are never asked to bail out the banks at this level again. I also think that some of our current laws (Dodd Franks) need to be reformed so that they don't make it harder for local, indpendent banks to lend and get capital out into the community.
My question's on the nerdy side: Congressman, are you participating via laptop/computer/tablet/smartphone? Just curious.
participating via desktop
Nearly 10% of students are defaulting on student loans right now and outstanding student loan debt is over a trillion $ -- more than outstanding credit card debt. So we need to look at keeping rates low AND forgiving debt for needed public service and sacrifice.
I like the idea of moving municipal elections to November because I think it would give these elections a higher profile and ensure a greater turnout. It would also have the benefit of reducing costs by consolidating all election expenses around one date.
Those are all the questions. Thanks again Congressman O'Rourke for taking the time to join us today and we look forward to doing this again.