Save Social Security By Eliminating the Payroll Tax

“The best way to reform Social Security is to eliminate the payroll tax,” argues Dean Clancy.

“Social Security is going bankrupt, but official Washington can’t agree on how to fix it. Payroll tax receipts are insufficient to pay promised benefits… The most practical, and in my view, the best way to restore system balance would be to simply supplement the payroll tax from other revenue sources, and in particular from the general fund (i.e., income taxes). That would make the program solvent forever. Presto! No more bankruptcy threat. Which leads to a further idea: Why not supplant the payroll tax altogether, and as soon as possible?”

“The payroll tax is the biggest tax most Americans pay, and regressive. It falls hardest on low-wage workers. Eliminating it would provide meaningful relief to every American wage-earner, with the greatest relief going to those who need the the help the most. Abolishing it would be economically beneficial and politically popular. To avoid increasing the deficit, we could raise or impose other taxes that are less regressive – although, to be honest, I’m not sure we really need to. If anything, America’s less-than-stellar economy could stand a tax cut right now, and what better kind of tax cut than one that reduces burdens on job creation?”

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  • t.c.green

    If you eliminate the payroll tax it will make it much easier for Republicans to justify cuts to Social Security by making it just another government program. It would be better to introduce means testing, remove the yearly caps and add a progressive scale to the tax. This would make Social Security solvent and you could actually increase benefits instead of cutting them.

  • RM

    HAHAHAHA Yes we’re totally buying that shit again. Meanwhile for all of those who can add up the Bush tax cuts and the cost of two wars and realize that number is fairly close to the debt…. we’re not going to listen to anyone with an R next to their name talking about the economy.

    Someone send this guy back to Kansas.

  • Paying the payroll tax is also a burden on the self-employed. Removing this tax and shifting to other taxes shared more equally will encourage self-employment and small businesses.

  • realnrh

    Or, alternatively, remove the top-end caps entirely and then give everyone a flat exemption of the first X dollars they earn, where X is defined as the poverty line. Then the people who have the least amount of income will have the largest cut relative to their earnings.

  • embo66

    What?! How strange for a conservative to decry people actually helping pay for their own benefits!

    The payroll tax constitutes the contributions we each make toward our own retirements. Suggesting that we eliminate these in favor of some hopelessly vague promise to get the same $$ from “the general fund” is either hopelessly stupid — or some “clever” attempt to disguise anti-Social Security sentiments.

    There are some fairly obvious solutions for fixing Social Security (raising or removing salary caps, etc.) — but this Trojan horse certainly isn’t one of them.

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