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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

 
raising the cap -- is it really an anti-tax measure?

President Bush has recently announced that he's open to the idea of raising the cap on the amount of income taxable for Social Security. Several conservative political groups are already on the attack against the idea, however I tend to think that this is yet another handout to the rich. How so? Let's consider the following scenario: assume for a moment that the President presents a plan that includes both the diversion of Social Security tax funds to private accounts and raises the cap on taxable income. If you're well-to-do and you're more concerned about lowering your tax liability, then it's a good thing to a.) give more to Social Security, but then b.) divert those new funds to a private account. So while it looks like Social Security is getting more funds because of the higher cap, in reality there's now another tax shelter (and a perfectly legal one) for those new funds which aren't actually going towards the Social Security general fund or to buy treasury notes for the trust fund.

Of course, all of this is speculation -- Bush hasn't decided to stop playing games and actually present a plan. Nevertheless it's important to realize that raising the cap on taxable income may not make up for the shortfall if the plan also includes diverting funds to private accounts.

Andrew 11:35 AM : |



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