Mark Warner: Lifting Payroll Cap “has to be part of any SS reform”


    Does Sen. Mark Warner read Ezra Klein, who recently noted that “Social Security taxes don’t apply to income over $110,000?” Maybe, maybe not. But Warner does seem to be coming around to Klein’s position on the issue, based on an answer Warner just provided to my question on his #askwarner Twitter townhall.

    My question: “Before even considering cuts to Soc. Security or Medicare, will you support raising the $110,000 income cap subject to taxation?

    Warner’s answer: “@lowkell I think raising the cap has to be part of any SS reform.”

    I checked around, including OnTheIssues, and it appears that Tim Kaine supports lifting the payroll tax cap, but that Mark Warner had, at least until now, had “No stance on record” on this issue. In contrast, Warner has said he supports raising the retirement age for Social Security, which is what Ezra Klein talks about in his column, noting the Congressional Budget Office finding that making “all income subject to payroll taxes…would do three times as much to solve Social Security’s shortfall as raising the retirement age to 70.” Let’s hope Sen. Warner reaches the same conclusion as Ezra Klein, and the CBO, have.

    • KathyinBlacksburg

      You do not need to lift the age.  As Elaine points out in a comment to my diary on the FP, few people realize that one who is 52 and younger must already wait till they are 67 for full benefits.  

    • If you raise (or eliminate) the cap on taxable income, what other “reform” do you need?

    • independent in arlington

      …will you also raise the maximum amounts for benefits?  Right now, benefits are tied to contributions.  Since the contributions are capped, the benefits are capped.  In other words, Warren Buffet doesn’t get more SS benefits than someone who has made $110,000 a year for most of his or her adult life.

      This structure is an important reason why SS is not considered to be “welfare” or “means tested,” but instead is more of an “entitlement” or an “earned benefit.”

      How do you think this should be handled?