We all know the issues and demagoguing false facts from the right about Social Security. The answer nearly every progressive gives to questions of eroding benefits, and what to do about the trust fund in 20 years is "Raise the Cap". Simple and succinct, but flies right over the head of most people who don't even realize that wage income over $106.8 thousand is exempt from Social Security taxes.
Let's reframe raising the cap as ending Social Security Tax Exemptions for the Wealthy.
This reframe also notes that the FICA tax exempts non-wage income - the majority of income received by the very wealthy - capital gains, interest, dividends, carried interest, etc. 58% of personal income is sheltered from Social Security taxes by the Social Security Tax Exemption for the Wealthy.
This week Congress is fighting over paying for extending the Payroll Tax holiday - the ONLY tax cut that Republicans have ever thought needed to be paid for. The simple solution? Eliminating the Social Security Tax Exemption for the Wealthy would make all personal income subject to the FICA tax, which would allow us to cut FICA tax rates in half for everyone, permanently, and should still provide enough additional revenue to allow us to continue current benefit levels for as far as we can forecast without the need to erode benefits with chained CPI or raising retirement ages.
Total US personal income in 2010: $12,357 Billion
Total Social Security revenues from FICA taxes: $642 billion