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View Diary: Daily Kos's candidate endorsement questionnaire, 2013-14 (120 comments)

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  •  On Social Security (21+ / 0-)

    I'd like to see candidates asked directly:

    "Do you support eliminating the limit on wages subject to the payroll tax?"

    as to my mind it is the only progressive solution to the (limited) fiscal issues facing Social Security.

    It's not just what they oppose, it's what they support.

    •  X 1,000 !! n/t (2+ / 0-)

      To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men. -Abraham Lincoln

      by Eyesbright on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 02:43:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I might want an option to support increasing (4+ / 0-)

      the limit, like to 200,000.  I don't know how Social Security is calculated, but isn't it based upon your highest earnings over a three or five year period?  Wouldn't that allow an athlete or actor to have a few really good years, but then do nothing for a few decades until they retire and still collect really high social security income?

      Anyway, that discussion probably can't fit into a questionaire, unless it's "Do you support raising, removing or preserving the limit of income subject to social security taxes?"

      •  the money is at the top (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim, Losty, Odysseus, grrr, Eyesbright

        Raising the limit to $200k or something (incidentally, if the cap rose with inflation since 1983 it would be $214,500 today) gets you some benefit, but the real benefit is on the money at the top. This is why some have proposed creating a donut hole, so income above $250k (or some other number) is subject to the tax, but income between that number and the current cap is not (this would also allow Obama to keep his "I'm not raising taxes on earnings under $250k pledge).

        And yes, benefits would increase too, but the existing progressive benefit structure means that approximately 25% - 30% of the income raised by lifting the cap goes to benefits for those individuals, which means the rest goes into shoring up the program.

        Also, Social Security looks at your top 35 years of wages, so the high earners you mention (who are also such a small number as not to matter) wouldn't get to make a ton of money in a short time frame and then collect a massive check at the end. Every year they weren't working counts as $0 for the total calculus. Some would also struggle to meet the credit requirement if they didn't work again after their brief careers.

      •  I Don't Want the Rich in There (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I think raising the cap to $200K or $250K is warranted, but I don't want it eliminated. If you take this money from them then you're morally obligated to pay them a bunch of money when they retire.

        We don't need it anyway. What we need is to get wages back up where they belong. If wages had continued to increase with worker productivity, they would be twice what they are today. That means that money flowing into Social Security would also be twice what it is.

        When someone says Social Security needs more money they are just saying that workers need higher wages and more jobs. Fix the jobs/wages problem and you fix not only Social Security, but all the government shortfalls generally, and a bunch of other problems to boot.

        Our unemployment rate is almost a percent higher now than before globalization hit. That's millions of people out of work right now because of bad trade policy. Those people would be paying payroll taxes.

        So, rather than raising the cap, let's focus on jobs and wages.

    •  something along these lines (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OffTheHill, Beastly Fool

      is a good add to the questionnaire.

      And it shouldn't be a problem for most progressive candidates since this is on most labor union questionnaires.*

      * speaking as someone who has written answers to candidate questionnaires for federal candidates.

      Nancy Pelosi: "We have a Democratic president -- Thank God!"

      by Newsie8200 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:05:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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