Christie proposes overhaul of Social Security benefits
MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) -- Framing himself as a politician who's unafraid to share "hard truths" with the American people, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is proposing an income cap on Social Security benefits as part of major restructuring plan announced ahead of a likely presidential bid.
The Republican is set to deliver a speech Tuesday in New Hampshire outlining his ideas on reforming Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid - so-called entitlement programs.
As part of the plan, he'll propose phasing out Social Security payments for those making more than $80,000 in other income and eliminating them for those making $200,000 or more a year.
"I'm suggesting that Americans pay into this system throughout the course of their life knowing that it will be there if they need it to support them. So that seniors will not grow old in back-breaking poverty. But if you are fortunate enough not to need it, you will have paid into a system that will continue to help Americans who need it most," he says, according to an excerpt released by his political action committee, Leadership Matters for America. "That is what we have always done for each other through private charity and good government."
Christie will also propose raising the retirement ages for Social Security and Medicare eligibility and eliminating the payroll tax for seniors who stay in the workforce past age 62.
A spokeswoman for the PAC said the proposals were aimed at reducing the growth of entitlements by over $ 1 trillion over the next 10 years.
The speech tackles cherished benefit programs typically considered untouchable in politics. It comes as Christie is facing an uphill battle pushing for a new pension overhaul in New Jersey, where he has been sued by more than a dozen public workers' unions for scaling back promised payments as part of a deal that was hailed as a landmark during his first term.
Now Christie says those changes didn't go far enough.
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