Scrap the Cap
New bills by Senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) seek to let the steam out of the phony debate over Social Security’s non-existent fiscal crisis by removing the $113,700 cap on earnings that are taxable for Social Security purposes.
Under Begich’s and Harkin’s proposals, there would cease to be a $113,700 maximum on the earnings taxed for Social Security purposes. Instead, all US workers would be charged 12.4% (with employer and employee each paying 6.2%) on their full earnings. Eliminating this $113,700 cap is clearly fairer than our current system.
There is no reason CEOs making millions of dollars a year shouldn’t pay 12.4% on their full income, just like the rest of us. At the same time, the additional revenue is more than enough to keep the Social Security Trust Fund solvent into the next century.
Both proposals also significantly increase cost-of-living adjustments to accurately reflect the higher cost inflation seniors face compared to the general public.
It has become virtually impossible for most Americans to find their way through the smoke and mirrors surrounding recent proposals to balance the federal budget by slashing Social Security benefits. The entire Social Security debate is an exercise in deception. Nothing exemplifies more clearly that most lawmakers, irrespective of political party, see their primary purpose as deceiving and manipulating the American public.
What we’re not being told is that most Washington lawmakers (with a few notable exceptions) are in the pocket of powerful Wall Street banks who seek to privatize Social Security for its profit potential.
As anyone with small business or payroll experience can tell you, cutting Social Security benefits can’t possibly reduce the federal deficit because they are paid from a totally separate, self-funded Social Security Trust Fund. Moreover, a close look at the Fund’s balance sheet reveals that it’s on track to remain solvent until 2033 – even if nothing is done.
Tell the Senate to support the Harkin and Begich proposals to scrap the cap on Social Security payroll tax. Sign the petition.
photo credit: Fifth World Art via photopin cc
Dr. Bramhall is a retired American child and adolescent psychiatrist, activist and political refugee in New Zealand.
Her first book The Most Revolutionary Act: Memoir of an American Refugee describes the circumstances that led her to leave the US in 2002. She has also published two young adult novels about political activism: The Battle for Tomorrow: A Fable
She is involved in the national leadership of the New Zealand Green Party and has a political blog at StuartJeanneBramhall.com