Doing away with the cap on Social Security tax would allow the Social Security trust fund to continue in the black indefinitely and the nation would never need to confront the fact that this peoples' trust is the one debt elected officials don't want to pay. It could also raise benefits and there might even be enough left over to lower instead of raise the retirement age.
But with the direction of the national debate, getting high income Americans to pay on a larger portion or their entire income is a pipe dream. I would like to point out a diary written here by fake consultant, Social Security: If The Rich Paid Taxes Like You And Me...Problem Solved.
A diary not about the more sensible but unobtainable goal of getting the rich to pay in support of the rest of the nation. Instead of removing the tax cap to support the middle class, remove the cap and increase the benefit schedule. This does not shore up Social Security as much but it could get another class of people interested, people with influence.
At the level of the press and as presented by our elected officials this national debate on American's safety net is going poorly. It sounds like class warfare and it sounds like we may lose, again! So how about a push that could get some of the winners on the side of the people?
Really not as far fetched as it sounds, a means of softening the battle lines in the class warfare. Something fresh to explore in this endless assault on Social Security. Since we already have logic on the side of the masses and softening the disparity between the rich and the middle class working American is popular, we could use another pump.
It's sort of like Uncap and Trade. Someone who makes around $400,000 a year and is writing letters in strong support of keeping the Social Security cap in place might just feel differently if it means about $72,000 per year in secure income from the government when that high wage earner turns 65. Not all of course but stereotyping the rich as wanting every penny to invest in hedge funds and having little to no interest in the well-being of less affluent workers is unfair.
Perhaps adjusting the cap on benefits to adjust the cap on Social Security tax in nothing more than a topic that would be limited to a few progressive bloggers. It would be a massive undertaking to get the topic into Americans living rooms and perhaps impossible to get such an idea addressed by elected officials.
Obviously the Republicans, masters of the red herrings, would scream about socialism but only if they were forced to address the topic. If a means of getting the rich interested in investing in Social Security did enter the national debate and then got off the ground, then this sentence in fake consultant's diary is food for thought.
Imagine, if you will, just how easy it would be to launch a political attack on a government program that pays $162,000 a year to rich people...and if you can imagine that, you can probably imagine just how much political trouble this approach could cause.
This endless assault on Social Security must stop and presenting people who mark their calendars with a Social Security tax freedom day the alternative of a higher Social Security income could be just the thing. It could get several high wage earners in the nation to start saying "You know that Pete Peterson is one heartless bastard."
Sadly as the debate continues with the false claim that Social Security is the problem, it seems obvious that our elected officials only listen to the highest wage earners. We could use a few of them on our side.