Letter: Raise the cap on Social Security now

Published: 7/17/2021 7:00:24 AM

Social Security is the most effective anti-poverty program in the United States. According to the Census Bureau, the elderly poverty rate without Social Security would be close to 50%. Social Security is frequently called an “entitlement,” instead of an earned benefit that workers pay into over 35 or more years of work life, and that raising the cap is a tax increase on high income earners. Both positions are misguided in my estimation.

The 6.2% taxable income is capped at $142,800 for 2021. This means that high wage earners that earn well above the cap pay a fraction of this tax while receiving the maximum benefit and pay a much lower rate as a function of their income as compared to the poor and middle class. Social Security encourages people to try to earn closer to the cap to maximize benefit at retirement, so it is clear that benefits increase as a function of the cap. Social Security could be made solvent, while paying decent benefits into the distant future. This could be fixed tomorrow if Congress would legislate a significant increase to the cap. They should do it now!

Don Boggis



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