Letter: Social Security’s future affects us all

Payroll tax. It is just a mostly ignored line on your paycheck, but it is the key to funding Social Security for your grandparents, your parents and, hopefully, for you. When your annual contribution (tax) reaches $142,800, the deduction stops, but most employees will not reach that payroll tax cap in 2021.

If you are making $1 million dollars a year, you reached the cap in late February. Neither you nor your employer will pay anything more for the year. You will, however, be eligible for Social Security when you turn 62 (if it still exists).

Social Security continues to be in trouble, and though estimates vary, funding could run out by the end of this decade. Payments are estimated to decrease by 20% to 30%.

Approximately 20% of Routt County residents are eligible to receive Social Security or disability benefits. Most have worked 45 to 50 years and paid into the system with the assurance their investment will be there when they retire. The average monthly benefit for retired workers is now $1,516. The average monthly benefit for disabled workers is $1,259. That is not enough to rent even a tiny apartment and buy food in Routt County.

The current system favors high earners. It seems unfair to low earners and employers.

Congress continues to avoid dealing with this payroll tax. If our representatives would raise the cap to even $500,000, they could: 1. Greatly decrease the 6.2% for all workers, and 2. Raise the amount in the Social Security fund to protect us, our children and our grandchildren.

Please, contact our representatives and ask them to raise the payroll tax cap and save Social Security and disability benefits. Call or go to their individual online sites to write: Sen. Michael Bennet, 202-224-5852; Sen. John Hickenlooper, 202; 224-5941; and Rep. Lauren Boebert, 202-225-4761.

Linda Delaney

Steamboat Springs

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