Since social security was passed in 1935, it has not missed one single payment. Social security provides the most vulnerable members of our population with the dignity they deserve. Each year, social security lifts fifteen million elderly Americans out of poverty. Of those older than 65, almost all of them rely on social security as their primary source of income. Additionally, ten million Americans with a disability and six million survivors rely on social security each year.
As the baby boomer generation and others age, it is vital that we protect social security well into the future and continually innovate it. Today, social security is funded through a 6.2% payroll tax for both employees and employers. Those contributions are pooled to pay out to all eligible Americans and has done so on time for nearly a century. Long term, as larger generations age, the future of social security is up in the air. Establishment figures in the GOP are clear in their intentions to cut programs like social security.
It is time that we not only preserve social security, but that we expand it. Each year, there is an annual cap on taxable income subject to the social security tax. In 2020, that cap is set at $137,700. As a result, nearly all working Americans are paying social security taxes on each and every one of their paychecks while the nation’s wealthiest stop paying a single penny just minutes into the year. If the wealthy paid all year like working Americans do, social security could be protected and expanded for generations to come.
Benefit amounts could be expanded to include paid maternity/paternity leave, retirements protected and we can ensure social security is solvent for generations to come.