Thursday, April 18, 2013
New York Times, Should Social Security Taxes Affect All Wages?:
As he tries to reach a broad agreement with Congress on taxes and spending, President Obama has raised the possibility of cutting Social Security benefits. But a Congressional Budget Office report has said that Social Security’s financial problems could be resolved if we eliminated the cap on income that is taxed for the program (currently $113,700 a year), without raising the limit on benefits.
Is that the fairest way to solve Social Security’s problems?
- Andrew G. Biggs (American Enterprise Institute), Don’t Raise or Eliminate the Cap: "Eliminating the cap would make Social Security a welfare plan; and raising it would hurt the economy and do nothing to put the budget on a sustainable track."
- Heather Boushey (Center for American Progress), An Affordable Step for a Vital Program: "With incomes stagnant and the middle class needing economic stability, debate on Social Security must include lifting the earnings cap."
- Dorothy A. Brown (Emory), The Only Path for Elderly Citizens: "Social Security keeps more than 21 million seniors out of poverty each year. Don't cut their benefits, repeal the wage cap."
- Theda Skocpol (Harvard), Tap the Wealthy to Support a Program for All: "High earners like me stop paying Social Security taxes in the spring. We should pay on all our salary like most employed Americans."
- C. Eugene Steuerle (Urban Institute), A Modest Rise Is Fine, but It’s Not a Panacea: "Social Security actuaries say that even with a benefit cap eliminating the tax cap wouldn't end the program's deficit."
- James Lee Wetzler (Former Tax Commissioner, New York State; Former Deputy Chief of STaff, Joint Committee on Taxation), More Revenue, but Less Political Support: "For the first time, some, including influential opinion leaders, would get a bad return on what they pay into Social Security."