Cowardly Kean hopes slandering Malinowski is a path to Congress

Tom Kean, Tom Malinowski

While Republican Tom Kean supporters have been saturating airwaves and Internet sites with misleading ads that falsely claim “No one blows tax-payer cash like Tom Malinowski,” the Democrat actually spent less than any of his colleagues in the New Jersey congressional delegation on staff and other expenses.

A report by Jonathan D. Salant that was published in the Star-Ledger says Malinowski is the most frugal member of New Jersey’s congressional delegation, Democrat or Republican.

The news article explained that House members get more than $1 million a year to fund their congressional offices in addition to their $174,000 salaries.

Malinowski spent $261,506 less than Rep. Albio Sires, the top spender from Jan. 1, 2021, through Dec. 31, 2021, on salaries, rent, travel, mailings, and other expenses.

On June 16, 2006, at a New Jersey Association of Counties event in Atlantic City, Kean and his aides beat a hasty retreat from the ballroom and “stampeded” into an elevator in a failed attempt to avoid journalists, only to exit on the same floor as they had entered. Kean declined to answer questions about the scathing attacks on his integrity that his opponent had delivered minutes earlier, instead opting to repeat “a few slogans.”

The dark money PAC behind the deceptive ads—Congressional Leadership Fund, the Super PAC endorsed by House Republican Leadership—previously claimed that “Malinowski wants to raise taxes on working families” but they cited a bill that would increase payments to Social Security recipients and finance the benefit boost by making rich people with income over $400.000 pay the same FICA tax rate as every else.

Congressional Republicans attacked Malinowski for supporting the Social Security 2100 Act, which raises benefits for retirees.

the Social Security 2100 Act

Improves the annual Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) formula to better reflect the costs incurred by seniors through adopting what’s called a “CPI-E formula.” This provision will help seniors who spend a greater portion of their income on health care and other necessities. Improved inflation protection will especially help older retirees, people of color, and widows who are more likely to rely on Social Security benefits as they age.

Protects low-income workers – Five million seniors currently live in poverty. No one who paid into the system over a lifetime should retire into poverty. The new minimum benefit will be set at 25% above the poverty line and would be tied to wage levels to ensure that the minimum benefit does not fall behind.

Improves Social Security benefits for widows and widowers in two-income households so they are not penalized for having two incomes.

Have millionaires and billionaires pay the same rate as everyone else – Presently, payroll taxes are not collected on an individual’s wages over $142,800. This legislation would apply the payroll tax to wages above $400,000 so the wealthy pay the same rate as someone earning $50,000 a year. This provision would only affect the top 0.4% of wage earners.

Extends the solvency of Social Security – This bill makes a significant contribution toward the program’s solvency, making up more than half the shortfall in the Social Security Trust Funds.

It would also improve the annual Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) to better reflect the costs incurred by seniors through adopting a “CPI-E formula.” This provision will help seniors who spend a greater portion of their income on health care, rent, food and other necessities.

Even before this year’s record-high inflation, the cost of growing old in America had been steadily rising faster than cost-of-living adjustments. The price of everything from health care to housing to prescription drugs has soared beyond many seniors’ means.

Malinowski’s bill also would increase the flow of revenue into Social Security. Currently, high earners do not contribute to Social Security on wages exceeding $147,000.

Under the Social Security 2100 Act, wages above $400,000 also would be subject to payroll taxes. This is a fair and just reform that helps to compensate for increasing income equality. As Larson says, “We should all pay our fair share so that no one is left behind.”  

During the first 40 years after President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Social Security into law 87 years ago on Aug. 14, 1935, Congress expanded the program no less than 15 times. Malinowski’s legislation would expand Social Security for the first time since 1972.

“Next year’s Social Security COLA increase is expected to be the greatest in four decades,” said Lisa McCormick. “This is good news given the current rate of inflation, but the truth is, the COLA has not kept up with inflation for years because the current formula does not accurately reflect seniors’ expenses.

Social Security has provided our nation with comprehensive retirement, disability, and survivors benefits for 87 years, but the program’s trust fund will run out of money in ten to 12 years unless Congress takes action to make it solvent.

Social Security’s trustees project that the retirement trust fund will be depleted by 2034, and ongoing income will be enough to pay only 77 percent of scheduled benefits.

Overall, Malinowski spent $1.2 million to run his offices, less than any of his New Jersey colleagues.

Kean has consistently based his campaign strategy almost exclusively on negative ads and attack-dog accusations against his opponents but in the end, Democrats and Republicans have trounced the privileged heir in every competitive election.

Although well regarded among many voters, Kean’s father was one of the most prominent moderate Republicans in history.

In 1977, he spearheaded President Gerald Ford’s campaign in New Jersey—opposing the nomination of Ronald Reagan— and he served on the board of National Committee on United States-China Relations, a group that advocates for communist China.

The elder Kean also served as chairman of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, a pro-abortion group that now is called Power to Decide.

Power to Decide created Abortion Finder, an easy-to-use search tool listing over 700 verified clinics across the country, every one of which “actually provides abortion.”

The group also champions sex education and distributes contraceptives. “We won’t stop until every young person has access to accurate, quality sexual health information and the full range of contraceptive methods—without barriers or judgment,” says the group’s website.

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