Editorial: Double tax

Editorial: Double tax

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The following is an editorial from WBRC FOX6 News General Manager Collin Gaston, which first aired on Monday, July 10, 2017:

Is it fair to make elderly Americans list Social Security as a taxable income benefit when Social Security is financed by tax dollars?

That's been the case now for nearly 34 years. It is time to stop this double tax. Congress first considered stopping this tax nearly 15 years ago, but it hasn't happened.

The impetus of the tax on benefits was the real concern of insolvency for the Social Security and Medicare Trust funds. It was all part of a "Save Social Security" plan where Congress decided to tax up to 50 percent of the benefits. Later, lawmakers pushed that up to 85 percent taxation on benefits to shore up Medicare.

The conundrum remains: Totally doing away with taxation of benefits will shorten the time that both might face insolvency, and force a reduction in payments for the people who worked for them.

At the very least then, lower the tax thresholds. Simply adjusting for inflation makes sense, as what passed for retirement income last century doesn't now.

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