Our parents and grandparents paid their contributions to Social Security for their entire working lives, and they should be guaranteed the right to collect on it in retirement. We have to be a society that takes care of its elderly and where people do not struggle for basic subsistence after having worked their full lives. Although Social Security was meant to be a supplement to other pensions, many working poor and even middle class people have not been able to save enough and live only on Social Security in their final years. This must remain a safety net for our parents and grandparents. In order to prevent insolvency, there are two things we must do.
- Increase the Payroll Tax Cap to about $300,000 immediately and increase the cap yearly until all income is subject to Social Security tax. Everyone should pay his or her fair share. Right now, it’s a regressive tax where the most wealthy among us pay a much smaller percentage than the poorest do.
- Increase payroll tax for all earners from 6.2 percent contribution to 7.2 percent contribution by both the employee and the employer.
While these two measures should be enough to shore up the fund, I would be open to a gradual increase of the retirement age based on the fact that life expectancy has increased. I would also be willing to consider means testing for recipients so the wealthiest recipients receive less in benefits.
JANA LYNNE SANCHEZ – Saving Social Security