I read with keen interest the article in the Aug. 27 Bellingham Herald that said a majority of Americans are OK with higher taxes to save Social Security. I believe a simple move to increase the maximum taxable earnings for Social Security would be a solution to the problem. The 2012 maximum is $110,100. All earnings after that are not subject to Social Security tax. This means that Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees, who will make $29 million this year, reached his taxable maximum on Jan. 2 as his salary computes to just over $79,000 a day. The current tax of 7.65 percent means Alex will contribute $8,423 to the Social Security fund in 2012.
Regardless of political persuasion I suspect that a large majority of Americans would believe a little more burden on Alex to keep such an important fund solvent is a reasonable thing. For instance, if the maximum taxable earnings figure were to be raised to $250,000, Alex would have paid $19,125 in Social Security tax for 2012. This is still an infinitesimal percentage of his salary but would make a big difference in helping to maintain a healthy fund. Alex, the tens of millions of Americans who rely on Social Security every month would greatly appreciate this additional contribution and give you a big thanks for your patriotism. And I hope he would say in response "you are welcome and thank God I live in a country that gives me the opportunity to make a living like this."