Claiming that “something needs to be done–and fast” to save Social Security, Parade magazine’s Gary Weiss (11/22/09) suggests a downside to the idea of raising the ceiling on taxed income, so that income above the current $106,800 would be subject to the Social Security tax: “Raising the cap is popular among Social Security reformers but would increase the tax burden on the middle class, since more of their income would be subject to the tax. ” (By contrast, “Raising the payroll tax rate would disproportionately affect lower-income workers.”)
According to the Census Bureau, less than 5 percent of individuals over the age of 15 in the U.S. have incomes exceeding $100,000 a year. That’s a peculiar definition of “the middle class.”
If Weiss truly believes that “experts agree that the longer we wait, the more difficult it will be to solve the systemÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢”Å¡Â¬ÃƒÂ¢”Å¾Â¢s financial ills,” he ought to read Dean Baker and Mark Weisbrot’s Social Security: The Phony Crisis.