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View Diary: Why Now is the Time to End the Social Security Tax Loophole (87 comments)

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  •  It is NOT a "tax loophole." Seriously. (32+ / 0-)

    This shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of Social Security:  

    Many people don’t know this, but the method we use to fund Social Security is incredibly regressive. People only pay the FICA tax on the first 113,000 dollars they make. After that, you no longer have to pay a dime more. That means, if you earn $60,000 a year, Social Security taxes are taken out of 100% of the income you earn. Meanwhile, if you make $1.1 million a year, FICA taxes are only taken out of 10% of your income.  Ending the Social Security tax loophole would eliminate this discrepancy and require that all income is taxed under FICA, significantly strengthening Social Security.
    What you are arguing for is to end Social Security as we know it.  Nothing less.  

    Social Security is that it is not a tax.  SS is a wage insurance program.  You insure wages against the possibility that you will outlive your ability to go to work and earn a living (i.e., reach retirement age).  The amount of your retirement benefits is tied to the amount of wages you insure.  If you insure $50,000 and have no other assets -- you've spent every dime you every owned -- you get exactly the same retirement benefits as every other person who insured $50,000, even if that other person has $10 million in the bank.  The amount that you insure is presently capped at $113,000 and the amount of retirement benefits is capped as well.  There is a bit of progressivity as you get to the upper ends (you don't get as much return on each dollar you insure) but there is -- and has to remain -- a tie between the amount you insure and the amount of retirement benefits you get back.  We probably need to raise the cap a little-- back up to 90% of all wages -- which probably is enough to satisfy any issue SS has for a while.  Making all income subject to being insured means that you'd be paying HUGE SS retirement checks to very rich people, which is politically unpalatable.

    The system is like any other insurance in that what you get back if your insured event is triggered is based on the value of what you insure and your insurance premiums, ALSO based on the value of what you insure (your wages).  For example, (as we in New Orleans know) federal flood insurance is capped at $250,000.  If my home is worth $350,00, and my neighbor's is $250,000, we pay the exact same flood insurance premium (insuring $250,000 of value) and if we floods, we get the exact same payout.  That's the "insurance" system FDR designed.  The reason there's a cap is that you are not allowed to insure above a certain value, because your payouts would also have to correspond to the value insured (mega retirement checks to very rich people).  And the reason non-wage income is not insurable is that it doesn't end when you get old and retire, like wages do.  

    The SS system was specifically designed that way by FDR so that it would be perceived by the public as a "you get what you pay for" system, and specifically so that it could NOT be painted as "welfare for the elderly," where the rich subsidize everyone else.  FDR called it "the dole" and famously and repeatedly said, "No dole -- mustn't have a dole."  FDR correctly recognized that a welfare system is much easier for the opponents to gut or even kill (remember "welfare reform"?) and a system where the middle class perceived it as "you get what you pay for" would be a system that would be MUCH more difficult to gut or kill.  How many times have you heard seniors say, "I EARNED my SS benefits" or "I only want what I paid for" when talking about SS.  It was this genius of FDR that allows them to say that.   Read some of FDR's repeated explanations here, including this, which is typical:

    We must not allow this type of insurance to become a dole through the mingling of insurance and relief. It is not charity. It must be financed by contributions, not taxes.
    If you want to raise the cap WITHOUT a corresponding increase in  benefits, breaking that tie between contributions and benefits, you would be literally "ending Social Security as we know it."  Democrats would be attacked as ending Social Security and substituting a welfare system.  And to support that argument, the opposition could -- and would -- cite FDR. It is the nature of the Social Security system that has resulted in the broad support, just as FDR intended.  
    Medicare, on the other hand, is financed by a tax on all earnings -- with no cap -- and the ACA just added an additional tax on investment income.  

    If you want progressivity, the income tax system is the place for that.  Do not threaten the existence of Social Security by ending the program as it has existed for decades and substituting a welfare program ("the dole").  That is the quickest way to kill it.    

    •  Social Security is very highly progressive (6+ / 0-)

      The benefit per dollar paid in is 6 times greater for wages earned at the lower income end than at the higher wage range.  In addition, the benefits are not subject to income tax for lower income beneficiaries, while taxed for high income beneficiaries.  For the very wealthy the benefits after tax are subject to estate tax making the net after tax payout lower income people receive about 25 times the rate the wealthy receive.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 12:36:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not really what Coffee meant (4+ / 0-)

        Not that I speak for coffee, but the majority of folks advocating for cap removal dont even know about what you just commented to.

        In fact a significant minority dont understand that capping benefits is a means test. And that removing the cap creates a huge monthly check for the uber rich.

        SO what do you think of coffees' larger point?

        ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 01:50:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It would be possible (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SilentBrook, voicemail

          to both raise the wage base and cap benefits.

          "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

          by Old Left Good Left on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 02:25:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What would you call it then? NOT Soc Sec (4+ / 0-)

            because you've designed a completely different welfare program.

            Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

            by Clem Yeobright on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 02:36:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Silly (0+ / 0-)

              I think they tweaked the wage base under Reagan, right? Did they have to change the name of your welfare program? If you raise the wage base and benefits, but decrease the "multiplier" for benefits as the wage base goes up, it's a modification. Most of us would still call it Social Security.  

            •  The corporate kleptomaniacs have (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Calamity Jean

              for the past thirty years, stolen all productivity gains.
              No one, in crafting SS, expected the sociopaths that run corporations to abscond with all productivity. It was expected wages would keep pace w/productivity gains.

              Now some people feel that by requiring those klepto's to return some of their stolen gains by contributing to SS above the current cap would be wrong.

              What about the welfare these corporate terrorists have stolen for the past thirty years. It's time the cap was increased and in no way would that be turning SS into welfare.  The klepto's have been on welfare for too long and some people here think that doesn't matter or shouldn't be considered in the equation.

              "I freed a thousand slaves, I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves" Harriet Tubman

              by BrianParker14 on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 08:40:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not sure that turning the upper-middle class (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            coffeetalk, Clem Yeobright

            and the wealthy against SSI is good for the program's long-term stability.

          •  Means testing is welfare, from a legal standpoint (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clem Yeobright

            I just think that the 2033 is unrealistic. SO lets create jobs and raise the min wage instead.

            In the Trustees low cost scenario, SS is good thru 2090

             photo SStrustees2090-1.png

            ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

            by Roger Fox on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 07:49:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  The exact proposal here may not be optimal (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pluto

          but I do wish that some of the creativity that is going into the currently discussed variants of a "Grand Bargain" in Washington was being applied to actually extending the viable lifetime of Social Security (as well as Medicare and Medicaid), while not weakening the protections they currently offer to the poor and elderly. Or (we can wish) truly strengthening the social safety net they provide. Indeed it should be possible to do that, and the only reasons it is painful and difficult, and has not been done to date, is the resistance to taking in additional revenue from high wage earners.

          •  In the more advanced developed nations (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clem Yeobright

            Social security is received in the same way. However, those in need also receive "social support" checks to bring their income up to a level of decency.

            This is also true for working folks. Those with low-wage jobs are supplemented so that they are able to provide decent lives to their family.



            Denial is a drug.

            by Pluto on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 05:19:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Money is a public utility produced by the federal (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SilentBrook, Pluto

        Treasury. The only reason to levy federal taxes is to insure that the currency keeps moving and is recycled through the Treasury, instead of more having to be produced. Issuing ever more currency to compensate for what is scarfed and hoarded, would invalidate the measuring function of the dollar. That is, both the volume of dollars used and the rate of turnover provide important measurements of economic performance.

        We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

        by hannah on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 02:23:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is the system that helps nations (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Clem Yeobright, DSPS owl, hannah

          ...avoid income inequality and a wide gap in the GINI index. The US had it once. It lasted 50 years.



          Denial is a drug.

          by Pluto on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 05:22:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Money is stored labor. (0+ / 0-)

          While productivity has increased it has all been kept by the corporate kleptomaniacs and workers have been denied the benefits of their labor and intellect.
          If productivity gains had been adequately shared, SS would be in fine shape.
          Instead the corporate terrorists and some here believe that by increasing the cap would be hurting the sad wealthy who want to hurt workers every way possible and keep every penny workers create for themselves.

          "I freed a thousand slaves, I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves" Harriet Tubman

          by BrianParker14 on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 08:45:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  How did you get the estate tax into this? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        i dont get it
      •  That's not progressive. (0+ / 0-)

        Progressive doesn't mean "better for the poor". It means "f(x) rises faster than linear with x".

        Social Security has a flat benefit (up to the cap; incomes above that do not exist as far as SS is concerned).

        The benefit between benefit and inflation-adjusted best-working-years average contribution is regressive, that is, the benefit grows more slowly than linear as the contribution increases.

        It's still a better deal, dollar-for-dollar, for the lower end of the contribution scale than the top end, but let's be clear what "progressive", "flat", and "regressive" actually mean.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 04:44:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry, has a flat contribution, regressive benefit (0+ / 0-)

          Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

          by Robobagpiper on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 06:19:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Robobagpiper, progressivity math for taxes is (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          coffeetalk, Clem Yeobright, Roger Fox

          different than for benefits in economics.

          Here is a paper from NBER (National Bureau of Economic Research - BTW this is the trusted organization that officially decides when recessions start and end) The Prosgressivity of Social Security. in reading this paper you will see what I wrote is consistent with this paper.

          Progressive benefits are different than progressive taxes.  What you described as progressive was for taxes.  For progressive benefits "it means "f(x) rises slower  than linear with x".

          Social security does not have a flat benefit as you incorrectly state.

          You wrote

          The benefit between benefit and inflation-adjusted best-working-years average contribution is regressive, that is, the benefit grows more slowly than linear as the contribution increases
          You misidentify the above as regressive, when this is actually progressive when used to describe benefits.  

          To be progressive for taxes, higher incomes mean taxes increase faster than linear.  For benefits however, progressive means  benefits rise slower than incomes.  Progressive means higher incomes pay faster than linear with income and/or receive benefits more slowly than linear with income.

          The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

          by nextstep on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 06:45:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  You must have skipped... (4+ / 0-)

      this part of the diary:

      First, recognizing that wealthy Americans would be paying in more, they would receive more benefits in return.
      •  It's not a "tax loophole." Even discussing it (14+ / 0-)

        in those terms undermines it.

        I have no problem with raising insured wages back to 90% of all wages.  That probably is enough.  But this

        Ending the Social Security tax loophole would eliminate this discrepancy and require that all income is taxed under FICA, significantly strengthening Social Security.
        Would either mean you pay hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, or even millions a year (to the Warren Buffets of the world) in retirement benefits to very very rich people -- including paying retirement benefits on investment income -- or it would mean severing that link between insured wages and retirement benefits.  Either one is unacceptable in my view.  

        Raise the cap back to 90% of all earned wages.

        •  14k annually (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Clem Yeobright

          $168,000 annually by my back of the envelope calcs.

          And those richer people live longer, 5 to 10 years longer. SO that 168k can become 340k, from 65 to 91 yrs old.

          ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 01:53:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  C'mon, Roger, kick it up a notch! (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib, 3goldens, Roger Fox

            Funny thing about SS is that very different amounts of benefits may proceed from a single 'account' - because SS unlike other pensions focuses on the welfare of the recipient(s) and not strictly on the value of the contributions.

            So the cap is scrapped and you and I both walk into the SS Office with our identical $28-million-in-35-years earnings records and I - a lonely (and cranky) guy - get roughly my 15% income replacement of $10k per month and you get:

            $10k for you, and
            $5k for your wife, and
            oh yeah, $5k more for that woman who divorced you 20 years ago.

            And that's every month for the rest of your lives, and even if you (like me) gently fade away at 85 or 90, it's likely that lady of yours will collect that $10k - COLA'd however it's COLA'd - for a solid 400 months = ... 4 million smackers! In 2012 dollars!

            Now, if the cap stays in place and the same scenario occurs with your payment of $2500 and your wife's and ex-wife's $1250 each ... I can feel okay with it, things worked out for you, congratulations! But 4 million! Fuck Social Security! LOL

            Moral: Keep the cap!

            Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

            by Clem Yeobright on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 02:31:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  The position that increasing the cap (0+ / 0-)

          would require increasing the benefit for top earners ignores the fact that the top earners have kept almost all productivity gains for themselves and now distort the argument that they should have a cap otherwise SS would become a welfare system.  In that context all work is welfare for the laborer.
          Why doesn't anyone want to include the stolen productivity workers have contributed to over the past thirty years that they have not benefited from at all?

          "I freed a thousand slaves, I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves" Harriet Tubman

          by BrianParker14 on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 08:50:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Here's a question to ponder (13+ / 0-)
        The first time you hear someone say
        My brother-in-law is retiring and he and his wife will get $15,000 a month in Social Security. They're spending some of it on a world cruise and they'll be banking the rest.
        what will be your attitude towards Social Security?
        Nothing will destroy SS and its reputation and its public support more effectively than allowing people to insure high salaries through it.

        That's not what Social Security is about.

        Please leave my Social Security alone.

        Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

        by Clem Yeobright on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 01:25:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The effect of Social Security payments being (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SilentBrook, Pluto

          left in the bank depends on what the bank does with the currency. If it makes loans to local enterprise, that's a good use. If it finances over-priced real estate that is likely to be defaulted, it's a bad idea.
          All dollars are nothing but certified IOUs. Classifying them according to who's holding them or using them is a mistake. All our dollars are belong to us, the citizens of the U.S.

          We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

          by hannah on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 02:32:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  About $168,000 a year according to the AIME (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clem Yeobright, VClib

        formula

        ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 02:06:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I hope you have this comment saved somewhere (6+ / 0-)

      Because it needs to be pasted into about 8 diaries a day, I swear.

    •  Dude, can you write that up in a dairy? (6+ / 0-)

      I'll find room in the SSD blogathon for that. Great explanation as to the pitfalls of removing the cap, well done.

      Only quibble is benefits are quite progressive, but thats not what you meant.

       photo create20millionjobsFICA.png

      ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 01:47:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you for this (5+ / 0-)

      blowing away the income cap without increasing the credits receive fundamentally transforms Social Security.

      People really don't seem to understand the core idea behind Social Security.

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 01:51:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The core idea behind Social Security is that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SilentBrook, 3goldens, voicemail

        the elderly should be able to pay for necessary services and care instead of having to rely on the graciousness of relatives they might not like or have or depending on the charity of strangers.
        People whose avaricious genes have not been in over-drive during the productive adult years should not be penalized in old age or as a consequence of illness and disease.
        Dollars, whether made of paper or gold or electronic bits, are not edible. They are only good for trade and exchange.

        We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

        by hannah on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 02:37:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, that's not the "core idea" behind (11+ / 0-)

          Social Security.  What you have defined -- that we have a program that allows the poor to pay for necessary services in their old age -- is "welfare" for the poor, or what FDR called "the dole" when he was adamant that SS should NOT be welfare.  

          Social Security is a wage insurance system.  It was specifically designed so that people would see it as a "you get what you pay for" system and not welfare, so that seniors could say, "I only want the benefits I paid for," so that seniors could say "I paid for my SS benefits," and so that the opposition could not kill it.  

          Turn it into welfare for the elderly and senior no longer have the moral authority to claim that they "earned" their benefits.  That's the quickest way to killing it.  As FDR recognized, our country does not like "welfare" or "the dole."  Our country DOES like people getting "what they paid for."  

          •  FDR changed the rules and (0+ / 0-)

            Clinton et al removed the rules. I don't think "the dole" matters much anymore. Just because people pay in doesn't mean they are going to be propped up by their personal investments because the storage mechanisms are not reliable any more.

            So what if it's welfare, if you starve the system, more problems squeeze out elsewhere, and other laws need to be passed to address the shortfall from some other program.

            It's the same way with these corporate tax cuts. Fewer people are employed and more are drawing UI insurance. Except the tax cuts got to stay and the loss of activity is covered by the rest of us in the 99%. It always squeezes out.

            There's no guarantee the system will work for any of us, SS should be for everyone that needs it, and not necessarily based on how they paid in. There's a shadow population out there that makes things work.

            •  GOP loves welfare, welfare Queens to be exact (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Clem Yeobright

              and thats why the GOP is telling us SS will be broke in 2033.

              Well maybe, maybe not

               photo SStrustees2090-1.png

              SS might be good with wage growth and job creation, thru 2090 as per the Trustees low cost scenario.

               photo SSD2-1.png

              ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

              by Roger Fox on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 08:04:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  You can keep increasing the credits (0+ / 0-)

        By 1 cent on the dollar for contributions above 200k, 0.1 cent on the dollar above 2M, etc.

        I deal in facts. My friends are few but fast.

        by Farugia on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 05:10:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Millionares must buy auto insurance (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WheninRome

      in CA and other states, even if they never collect on those policies.
        I've paid in much more in auto insurance in the past 30+ years than I've ever made claims for and most likely ever will.
        If SS is "insurance", then why should it not be considered the same as other insurance policies where people don't expect the same ROI on the premiums as everyone paying into the pool?

      My Karma just ran over your Dogma

      by FoundingFatherDAR on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 02:49:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But if you insure a driver (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clem Yeobright, Robobagpiper, Pluto, VClib

        for the statutory minimums (say, $15,000/$30,000), you pay less in premium than someone insuring $1 million in liability. Say both people have the same insured event  -- a catastrophic crash where they are sued for $1 million.  The first driver gets what he paid for $30,000 in coverage, and the plaintiff goes after the driver individually for the rest.  The second gets what he paid for -- $1 million in coverage.

        In SS, what you "insure" are wages.  Your "premiums" (SS taxes) are based on the value of what you insure.  Your insurable event is outliving your ability to work for a living.  Your monthly payout is based on the value of what you insured.  

      •  Try comparing SS to other retirement insurance (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clem Yeobright

        I'm in my mid 50's and have never needed my car insurance.

        ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 03:54:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Good for you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright

      I was going to make this point but you made it for me, very clearly.

      Just to put it another way, in one sentence:  The amount of income subject to FICA taxes is capped because the anount of social security benefits is also capped.

      "[W]e shall see the reign of witches pass over . . . and the people, recovering their true spirit, restore their government to its true principles." Jefferson

      by RenMin on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 03:09:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  tipped / nm (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright, Pluto

      The "extreme wing" of the Democratic Party is the wing that is hell-bent on protecting the banks and credit card companies. ~ Kos

      by ozsea1 on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 03:14:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  coffeetalk -- one of the most informative (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright

      ...comments I've read in years. Thank you.

      Please consider cutting and pasting it into a Diary. It would be a service to the community.



      Denial is a drug.

      by Pluto on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 05:08:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And wages, it was expected, would (0+ / 0-)

      rise as productivity and corporate profits rose.

      However, over the past thirty years all productivity has been kept by the corporations and none returned to the workers.
      That has caused SS to flounder.

      People like the Waltons, Kochs, Petersons, Coors, Simmons, de Vos', Freiss' and other corporate kleptomaniacs have stolen ALL worker productivity.

      W/o that theft, SS would be in fine shape.
      But since they've stolen all productivity gains they now feel entitled to steal any other assets they see.

      Fix the corporate kleptomaniac problem and most other problems in America can be solved.

      "I freed a thousand slaves, I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves" Harriet Tubman

      by BrianParker14 on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 08:31:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Simple solution: (0+ / 0-)

      Drop the cap for Social Security (from approximately $113,700) and raise the ceiling for the maximum Social Security monthly benefit from $2513 (at full retirement age) to $4167 (approx. median income) (prorated, relative to years of increased payment with the new ceiling)--with a third “bend point” in the formula for Average Indexed Monthly Earning (currently 90% >$0, 32% >$791, 15% >4768) at something like 7% >$approx 6500.  

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