About two weeks ago I received my Social Security statement in the mail – you know, that bland-looking government document that’s an accounting of lifetime earnings, how much Social Security and Medicare taxes have been paid into the system, and, most importantly, what percent of an individual’s income goes to fund the retirement and health care programs.
In my case, I currently pay 6.2% of my salary in Social Security taxes and 1.45% in Medicare taxes. My employer pays the exact same percentage– 6.2% and 1.45% — into each program. Regardless of who you work for or who your employer is, those percentages are the same. Self-employed individuals, however, pay both the employer’s and the employee’s portion, bringing the total to 12.4% to Social Security and 2.9% to Medicare.
There’s been a lot of talk during the health reform debate about raising taxes to pay for more benefits, and to ensure that more Americans get coverage.
Taking a hard look at how much you actually pay into Medicare, how much more would you be willing to pay for a better system? (Let’s not even discuss the need to raise more revenues to avert what is foreseen to be an-almost imminent bankruptcy of the Medicare program.)
Or, do you think you should be paying less now?
—Alicia Ault (on Twitter @aliciaault)