Currently, wage earners are not subject to Social Security taxes on earnings in excess of $106, 800. Seven of 10 voters in battleground political states want these high-salaried Americans to pay their fair share for Social Security, according to a new poll.
The poll was conducted by private political research firm Lake Research Partners and funded by Social Security Works, a coalition of 270 state and national organizations. It found that 77 percent of Democrats, 65 percent of Republicans, 65 percent of Tea Party members and 68 percent of Independents favored a policy that would force anyone to pay Social Security taxes on their wages in excess of $106,800.
“These findings suggest that AARP and members of Congress should side with the people they represent by demanding no benefit cuts and supporting a plan that closes the Social Security tax loophole that benefits millionaires and billionaires,” Ed Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, said in a statement. “Social Security does not contribute a penny to the deficit, in fact it has a huge surplus. This is money that belongs to all of us who contributed our entire working lives so that we could retire with dignity.”
The poll was conducted in Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri and Virginia, five states that are likely to play an important role in the 2012 presidential election.
The poll comes shortly after reports in May said that Medicare and Social Security will both run out sooner than originally thought. Medicare is projected to run out in 2024, five years earlier than previously thought, and Social Security in 2036, one year earlier than expected.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said that, to avoid the depletion of the trust funds, America needs to reform both systems now.
“We should not wait for the trust funds to be exhausted to make the reforms necessary to protect our current and future retirees,” Geithner said in a speech. “Larger, more difficult adjustments will be necessary if we delay reform. And making reforms soon that are phased in over time would help reduce uncertainty about future retirement benefits.”