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Bernie Sanders Sends a Special Message to Millionaires on Valentine's Day

February 14, 2018 in Blogs

By Emily C. Bell, AlterNet

It's that time of the year when millionaires get to stop contributing to Social Security.

Bernie Sanders has a special Valentine’s Day message for the 1 percent. On Wednesday, Sanders tweeted “Happy Valentine's day to all the millionaires who will not have to pay into Social Security for the rest of the year. Let's lift the cap and end this absurdity.” Accompanying the tweet was a video educating the public about “Millionaires Valentine’s Day,” which this year falls on Feb. 16.

Because of an arbitrary cap, Americans earning million dollar salaries or higher only have to pay Social Security taxes up to $128,000, which they’re able to pay off just a few weeks into each new year—47 days after January 1st to be precise, otherwise known as Millionaires Valentine’s Day.

The taxable amount in 2018 is actually $128,400, but most individuals won’t earn this amount as the Center for Economic and Policy Research reported. CEPR’s Kevin Cashman wrote of the present system that “…the burden of Social Security taxes falls more heavily on those who make less money.”

“What is it, some weird Valentine’s Day gift to rich people?” Lawrence Benenson, Principal of the Benenson Capital Company and progressive advocate, asked in the video.

The video, which includes cameos from Benenson and other “Patriotic Millionaires” including Eric Schoenberg, Chairman of Campus Works Inc., calls attention to this special day — and the special treatment that millionaires get when it comes to contributing to an already unstable Social Security. 

According to the video, investment income, which is the source of many millionaires’ wealth, is not subject to Social Security tax.

Sanders’ Valentines-themed video echoes his previous calls to prioritize the future of Social Security and adjust the payroll tax cap, including with previously-introduced legislation which would increase benefits while increasing taxes for the wealthy.  

Concerns over the solvency of Social Security have been growing, and in a 2017 report from CEPR, they note that the Social Security Trust Fund, which currently totals $2.8 trillion, “is enough to pay full benefits to retirees through 2034. At that point, the fund will still …read more


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