I don’t mean that as a thank you note.
I mean it as an indictment of the fact that the wealthiest in this nation still only pay Social Security taxes on the first $117,000 of their income.
This is just one more example of the welfare for the rich and the corporations that has evolved in this nation. By simply eliminating the cap on income on which all Americans pay into Social Security, and Medicare, too, the Social Security program is solvent literally forever, or at least for any foreseeable future.
The Social Security program is a pay as you go program. Benefits are not paid based on what you “saved” over a life time of earnings. The monthly payment is calculated based on that figure, but the money in the trust fund is there because every year, current workers pay taxes into the fund.
Recipients of Social Security started receiving payments as soon as the program went into effect. They were not being paid based on their “savings”.
Social Security and Medicare are the two greatest, most effective, and cost effective programs the government has ever instituted.
This apparently is unacceptable to the 1% and the corporate plutocracy. After all, there is more profit to be made by destroying government programs and outsourcing, in order to increase their share of the wealth to ever more stratospheric levels.
While almost all working Americans will pay into Social Security through their paychecks throughout the year, the 900 wealthiest people in the country won’t. That’s because the highest-earning 0.0001 percent of the U.S. — many of them corporate CEOs — made $117,000 in the first two days of the year, which is the maximum annual income that is subject to Social Security taxes under federal law.
It’s tough to say for certain who will be a part of this group in 2014, since the most recent available data on Americans’ earnings is from 2012. In that year, 894 individuals nationwide made enough to qualify for membership in this club, according to the Los Angeles Times. Economist Teresa Ghilarducci came up with the calculation, and points out that Forbes data on top earners enables analysts and the public to see some of the members of this group. There were nearly 70 corporate CEOs who made enough to qualify in 2012, including the top officers at companies like Philip Morris, NewsCorp, Starbucks, ComCast, and Pfizer.
They get to live the year free from Social Security taxes because the law says that only the first $117,000 earned in a year can be taxed to fund the retirement program that kept more than 15 million people out of poverty in 2011. Democrats have pushed to raise the cap in recent years from $106,800 in 2009 to the current level. Eliminating the cap entirely could make the program solvent for the next 75 years without cutting a dime from anyone’s benefits — and doing so wouldn’t touch the earnings of 94.2 percent of all American workers.