Who pays if Social Security cap is lifted? Not many taxpayers

Oct. 10, 2011 at 7:35 AM ET

Center for Economic and Policy Research /
A breakdown of worker wages.

One of the proposals for keeping Social Security afloat is to simply ask for more money.

It turns out, not that many taxpayers would have to pay up.

A new analysis from the Center for Economic and Policy Research finds that less than 6 percent of workers would be affected if the government lifted the cap on Social Security taxes and applied it to earnings above $106,800.

Currently, taxpayers pay their share of Social Security taxes only on earnings up to $106,800. Any earnings above that are exempt from the tax.

Another plan that’s been tossed around would be to just charge Social Security tax on earnings of more than $250,000, but not to charge the tax on earnings between $106,800 and $250,000.

That plan would affect a little more than 1 percent of workers, the liberal-leaning think tank found in its analysis of the most recent American Community Survey data.

The move could potentially add trillions of dollars to Social Security coffers over the next 75 years, according to CEPR.

Social Security is at risk of becoming underfunded because the big Baby Boom generation is aging and people are generally living longer.

Other proposals for fixing Social Security include raising the age of eligibility and slowing cost of living increases.


Of Social Security and Ponzi schemes

Debt deal or not, Social Security reform is coming

How much you will — or won't — collect from Social Security

© 2014 CNBC LLC. All Rights Reserved