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April 8, 2013

'Scrap the Cap'

Nancy Folbre:
The People’s Choice for the People’s Pension, by Nancy Folbre: Social Security, the most transparently self-financed program of the federal government, is not increasing our budget deficit. The most recent trustees’ report shows sufficient funds to pay full benefits until 2033.
No one is making out like a bandit: Social Security beneficiaries who retired in 2010 are expected to get back approximately what they paid in.
If we wanted to adopt a cautious policy measure that would eliminate the shortfalls predicted 20 years down the road, we could eliminate the cap on earned income subject to Social Security taxes, currently set at $113,700. Such a measure would lead to increased payments by about the top 5.2 percent of wage earners.
Legislation designed to “scrap the cap” has been introduced in Congress. ... But as Thomas B. Edsall pointed out in a recent commentary, “scrap the cap” has apparently been taken off the table, despite evidence of considerable public support for it. ...
It's not hard to guess why, but as she goes on to explain, "lobbying efforts and misinformation campaigns aimed at bringing the program down" are a big part of the "history of class warfare over social insurance."

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