Interesting how we “can’t” raise the cap on Social Security income from $106,800 because _____ (fill in the blank with whatever Norquistian Pledge of the Day seems appropriate), BUT we could raise it during a Republican Administration.
In the year of Our Lord 2000 Anno Domini the cap was $76,200. From thence it increased by 5.5% to $80,400 in 2001.
In 2002 it was raised by 5.6% to $84,900, and in 2003 the cap went up another 2.5% to $87,000. In 2004, the cap went up to $87,900, a 1% increase. And, the cap went up again in 2005 to $90,000, another 2.4% increase. But Wait! There’s more! In 2006 the cap moved up to $94,200, or up 4.7%. In 2007 the cap increased to $97,500 (+3.5%), and in 2008 the cap went up to $102,000, an increase of 4.6%.
The last year the cap increased, to the present $106,800 (+4.7%) was 2009. Now, it’s stalled at that level.
The EPI calculated that as of 2005 eliminating the cap altogether would “virtually eliminate the projected 75 year shortfall.” Republicans have argued since that any increase in the cap level is a “tax increase” because “it takes money away from people.” This is true to a point, and the point is that with the cap in place all earnings over $106,800 are Olly Olly Oxen Free from Social Security taxes — leaving those earning wages under the cap hefting the burden of supporting the system.
One possible litmus test for determining the allegiance of politicians to the Have’s and Have More’s is to ask: In order to insure the future solvency of the Social Security System, are you willing to either increase the cap or to eliminate it entirely?
A “yes” answer reveals a person willing to lift some of the burden from the already strained shoulders of working Americans; a “no” response is indicative of a politician more attuned to the wishes of the Have’s and Have More’s than to the middle class working Americans in his or her constituency.