February 18 is Valentine’s Day for millionaires, the day when last of the millionaires in the United States will stop contributing to Social Security for the entirety of 2019. The richer they are, the earlier their gift arrives: Based on his 2016 income, President Trump ceased contributing to Social Security just 40 minutes into the new year. Similarly, for many in Trump’s rich donor circles and in his “$2 billion Cabinet,” time spent paying into Social Security is measured in just minutes or days.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. In the new Congress, progressive lawmakers are heeding the people’s call for both expanding Social Security’s benefits and curbing the pernicious inequality that has damaged its finances. At the same time, the policy solutions that would help achieve these goals—such as raising or eliminating the payroll tax cap—are the same ones that address the growing public demands for higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans so that they pay their fair share.
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