Social Security: The Elevator Pitch

• Since Social Security started it has always brought in more money than was spent. It contributes a surplus to the total federal budget. That’s true today and will continue for quite some time.
• The extra revenue needed to make SS solid far beyond the foreseeable future (75 years) is tiny: 0.6% of GDP.
• A 0.6% revenue increase would not be a big burden. The U.S. has been taxing about 28% of GDP for decades, compared to 30-50% in other rich countries (average: 40%).
• Coincidentally, Scrapping the Cap on SS contributions — so high earners paid payroll tax above $110K — would deliver … 0.6% of GDP.

Worried about our fiscal future? It’s the health care costs, stupid. What providers charge.
U.S. providers charge two to five times what they charge in other countries, and it’s rising faster — and faster than wages, GDP, inflation.

If you’re not talking about that, you have nothing useful to say about our fiscal future:

Cross-posted at Asymptosis.