March 7, 2013

The Honorable Bernard Sanders
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Sanders:

On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I am writing to express our strong support for your bill, “The Keeping Our Social Security Promises Act.”  This bill would eliminate the cap subject to payroll taxes on earned income above $250,000, while maintaining the cap at $113,700 for those earning below $250,000. 

The National Committee is encouraged that, based on the Social Security Administration’s estimate, this bill would extend the solvency of the Social Security Trust Fund for the next 50 years.  The legislation provides a way to extend solvency without resorting to cutting benefits for seniors.  Additionally, an analysis by the Center for Economic and Policy Research finds that the proposal would apply only to the top 1.3 percent of earners.  The overwhelming majority of workers would not see any increase whatsoever in their taxes.  This bill would merely ask top wage earners to pay Social Security taxes at close to the same level as the vast majority of Americans who pay taxes on their entire income.  We recall this idea was proposed by President Obama in the 2008 presidential campaign.

We all know how important Social Security is to millions of Americans.  Over 36 percent of Social Security beneficiaries rely on their benefits for 90 percent or more of their income.  For 65 percent of beneficiaries, Social Security benefits account for at least 50 percent of their total income.  The average Social Security benefit payable in January 2013 is a modest $1,261 per month.  Over 75 years after it first came into existence, Social Security continues to be the most successful and popular domestic program in our nation’s history and we applaud your efforts to strengthen its’ financing now and for many years to come.

Thank you for your leadership on efforts to protect Social Security.  It is leadership like yours that will ensure the program will be there for our children and grandchildren.  We look forward to working with you to secure support for “The Keeping Our Social Security Promises Act.”



Max Richtman
President and CEO