With the inception of Social Security President Roosevelt insisted on funding Social Security through payroll taxes because it would give recipients…
“a legal, moral, and political right to collect their pensions and their unemployment benefits. With those [payroll] taxes in there, no damn politician can ever scrap my social security program.”
Even in the 1930s liberals wanted more. They wanted the program funded from general revenue so that it was positioned to transfer wealth from richer Americans which of course would also make it more subject to the machinations of politics.
Today supposed advocates for the program, especially a group called SocialSecurityWorks, are still at it only now the cry is “fair share” implying that anyone who earns more than the Social Security taxable wage base does not pay their fair share.
The organization is also not above misleading people in its quest. They have claimed SS has a surplus and claim the Trustees report shows their is money to expand the program. Here is a recent example of their misleading Tweets. They leave out that if there were a payroll tax cut, as under the Obama administration, the trust is made whole from general revenue. “Mostly go to the rich? Define rich. It will help all Americans who are subject to a payroll tax relative to their income. NOTE: I don’t think its a good idea either, but at least let’s be honest in presenting a point of view.
Saying many Americans do not pay their fair share is not true. The fact that a worker may pay taxes on 100% of his income and others a lower percentage is irrelevant provided the ultimate benefit is based only on the taxed earnings which is the case.
In addition, the SS benefit formula intentionally provides a higher benefit relative to earnings to lower income beneficiaries. In other words the more you earn, the less of a return you receive for the taxes you paid.
To raise the taxable wage without an accompanying higher benefit, is blatantly unfair IMO. It’s simply wealth transfer and turns SS into a new welfare program which was never the intention of the program.
Social Security has fiscal issues because of demographics and the failure of politicians to periodically adjust the tax rate and the tax base to maintain the fundamental principles of the system as when it was adopted. If you want to blame anyone for the current state of Social Security, blame decades of politicians who have mismanaged the program and who regularly avoid telling Americans the truth.