Should 85 Percent of Social Security Benefits Be Taxed?

Policy Backgrounders | Social Security | Taxes

No. 126
Thursday, June 10, 1993

President Clinton proposes to increase the tax on Social Security benefits. Although the administration calls this an "entitlement spending reduction," what it proposes is a tax that will fall primarily on elderly investment income. The remainder of the burden will fall on the wages of elderly workers. If passed into law, the proposal would cause marginal tax rates faced by the middle-income elderly to reach a record high, resulting in less capital H and labor, a slower rate of economic growth and a lower income for all Americans.

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