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Opinion: Lifting the Social Security taxing cap would help fund valuable program
05022018 SOCIAL SECURITY

Economically, this pandemic has gotten out of hand, and I believe the worst is still to come as people lose jobs and many lose their health insurance.

Part of most personal financial plans includes Social Security. At this time, the trust fund should last until 2035, but beyond then, there is a problem unless the program is changed.

One solution is to reduce benefits but a situation like this should wake up the nation to the fact that there are times — this is one of them — that Social Security is crucial for many people. Providing an income to the elderly also provides an economic stimulus to the economy. Social Security must be protected.

Another part of Social Security is Medicare. It is national health care for the elderly. This pandemic illustrates the need for medical insurance. Right now, millions have lost their jobs, and many have lost their health insurance. Others will not be able to continue paying premiums and soon will be uninsured.

Recently, I read that many who survive COVID-19 end up with medical bills as high as $70,000. Those with insurance are protected, but what happens to those without insurance or to those who lost coverage because of non-payment of premiums?

This nation needs Social Security and it needs national health care, and this nation, like many others, needs to figure out how to pay for it.

One way to ensure the survival of Social Security is to increase funding. In 2020, the Social Security taxing cap is $137,700. That means any earned income above $137,700 is not taxed for Social Security.

This also means that someone making a million dollars a year stops paying into Social Security in February and anyone making $137,700 or less continues to pay into the system until Dec. 31. In short, Social Security has a regressive tax.

Lift the cap and Social Security will be there for generations. It is time the government protects elder Americans who depend upon Social Security and Medicare. Next on the list, figure out how to provide the rest of society with national health care.

Jimmy O'Neill

Cleveland

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