Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said last week that he will introduce legislation that would expand the reach of the payroll tax, as part of an effort to give further support to Social Security. According to The Hill, Sanders is proposing to make individual income higher than $250,000 per year subject to the payroll tax — an idea he says he is lifting from President Obama’s 2008 campaign for the White House. As it stands, the payroll tax, which funds Social Security, applies to the first $106,800 of annual income; the Sanders bill would not impose the payroll tax on income between that level and $250,000. In a recent news release, the senator said he was also worried that the new Super Committee tasked with finding additional ways to reduce the deficit will try to find savings through cuts to Social Security. One method that has already been discussed would involve switching to the so-called “chained CPI,” an alternate form of inflation that would lead to a slower increase in Social Security benefits. “Social Security did not cause federal budget deficits, and should not be part of the Super Committee’s solution to the debt problem,” said Barbara J. Easterling, President of the Alliance. According to Sanders’ office, the chief actuary for Social Security says the senator’s proposal to make the payroll tax applicable at higher income levels would create enough new revenue to keep the program solvent for the next 75 years.
[Excerpted from the Friday Alert from the Alliance for Retired Americans]