Crowley and Lancman disagree on raising taxes to fund Social Security

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An actual policy difference between two of the candidates in the race for an open congressional seat in Queens: City Councilwoman Liz Crowley said at a debate last night that she opposed raising taxes in order to fund Social Security.

"I think many of our community residents that do make over $106,000 can't afford, many of them, can't afford to pay more taxes," Crowley said. "I don't agree with raising FICA. I do believe in investing in good job opportunities, and more people working the more people will be paying into Social Security and the longer it'll last."

Assemblyman Rory Lancman spoke immediately after Crowley, and said lawmakers can't "pretend" that growing the economy is an adequate solution to Social Security's funding shortfall.

"People who make over $110,000 a year should not be exempt from paying their Social Security taxes," Lancman said.

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Lifting that exemption would fully fund Social Security "for the next 75 years and our seniors would get a 100 percent of their benefits."

It's a rare substantive difference between the Democratic candidates, and it's one that affects seniors, who reliably turn up in primary elections in high percentages. Much of the coverage about the race in the 6th congressional district has revolved about ethnic politics (Asians make up the largest voting bloc in the newly configured district and another major candidate in the race, Grace Meng, stands to become the first Asian-American member of Congress from New York).

And there's been a good deal of focus on processy stuff too.