The Bible says, not once but many times, that we are obligated to care for the poor, the orphan and the widow. It also tells us that we must do justice equally for the poor and rich and that the rich are required to share their wealth with the poor.
However, we act as if these words mean nothing.
There is a lot of talk about cutting Social Security benefits to help it survive. But remember that Social Securitys full name is Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance. Cut into those benefits, and we come face to face with shirking our obligations to care for the poor, the widow and the orphan.
Fortunately, there is a better, fairer way to meet our moral obligations.
Social Security is funded by FICA, the payroll tax, which is a flat rate of 7.65 percent until you earn $110,100. After that point, you hit the Social Security cap, and every dollar you earn is free of FICA.
By the time you earn $220,200, your FICA rate is 3.93 percent. And with each additional dollar you earn, your tax rate goes down.
If youre Bill Gates or Mitt Romney, with most of your income from interest and capital gains, the percentage of your income paid into Social Security is nearly zero.
There is an easy solution. Remove the cap, and Social Security can help us live up to our moral obligation to ensure that the least of these in our society can meet their basic needs.
Ellen Dannin, State College