A Matter Of Opinion

Social Security tweaks

Congressional report shows what it would take to sustain it. Here are some options. Doesn't look so daunting to me. For instance:

Modify the Social Security tax cap. Workers pay into the Social Security system on earnings up to $106,800 in 2010. About 83 percent of worker earnings were subject to Social Security payroll taxes in 2008. If all earned income above $106,800 annually were subject to Social Security contributions but did not count toward benefits, Social Security’s projected deficit would be completely eliminated. If the higher income counted toward Social Security benefits, about 95 percent of the shortfall would be absolved. Other ideas: apply a new Social Security formula to earnings above the current cap or raise the amount of the income cap to apply to 90 percent of all worker earnings.

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Gary Crooks
Associate Editor Gary Crooks writes opinion columns and editorials; edits letters and other copy for the Opinion pages.

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