We pay into the Social Security System while employed and expect a nominal payback upon reaching retirement age. In 1984, federal legislation was passed allowing the IRS to tax our Social Security income up to 50% which again was increased to 85% in 1993. Back then, a married couple filing jointly would be exempt from this tax if their total taxable income was less than $32,000. In today’s dollars that would amount to $84,000. The issue is that in the past 37 years nothing has changed. Today’s seniors are forced to give up more of their Social Security benefits than seniors in earlier generations. In 1984 only 10% of seniors ended up paying taxes on their Social Security benefits while in 2015 that percentage jumped to 52% – a true cash cow for governments. To ensure fairness moving forward, the $32,000 cap needs to keep up with the cost of living. It is time for our legislatures at both federal and state levels to step up and provide seniors with a more equitable disbursement of their hard-earned money.
— Zia Kazimi, Clancy