Sen. Elizabeth Warren's newly-announced Social Security plan will damage the financial security of retired Americans, according to former Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas.
Wealthy Americans are only "bit players" in market capitalism while many people of all income levels rely on corporate investments in one way or another, Gramm said Thursday on "Your World."
"I'm worried about the impact that it's going to have on retirees and old folks -- and being an 'old folk' obviously I'm affected," he said. "If you listen to Warren, you get the idea that she's talking about rich people ... you need to understand they're bit players in American capitalism."
Gramm claimed 72 percent of stocks in American companies are owned by pension funds, 401(k) plans, IRAs or invested to fund annuities and personal insurance benefits.
"So, when she's mandating companies provide all these benefits to people who don't invest in the company, she's taking money away from 100 million retirees in America," he said.
He said the public would be "outraged" if this assertion was clearly explained.
"People think... that she's talking about taking money away from rich people, but 72 percent of the ownership is held basically by" people older than 55, Gramm said.
"She's going to destroy private pension funds in America."
Gramm, whom host Neil Cavuto noted co-sponsored the 1985 "Gramm-Rudman Act" with former Sens. Warren Rudman, R-N.H. and Fritz Hollings, D-S.C -- which aimed to make deep cuts to the federal deficit, added the numbers show that the wealthy "do not own corporate America."
"Rich people will move their money to France," the 77-year-old former lawmaker said.
Warren, D-Mass., unveiled her plan -- which would increase monthly Social Security benefits by $200 for every current and future beneficiary -- earlier Thursday, declaring, “it’s getting harder to save enough for a decent retirement."
The 2020 presidential contender claimed that typical Social Security benefits today are quite small,” noting the average beneficiary receives $1,354 a month, or $16,248 a year. Nearly 64 million Americans are Social Security beneficiaries.
“And here’s the even scarier part: unless we act now, future retirees are going to be in even worse shape than the current ones,” she stressed.
Fox News' Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.