As a self-employer, she said she is paying 100% of the SS payroll taxes (12.4 Social Security plus 2.9 Medicare). With that, she then asks Rep. Paul Ryan if he (people making $100,000 or more) would be in favor of also paying 100% of the SS taxes from his earnings to help shore up Social Security – pay the full 15.3% like self-employed people pay.
Paul Ryan distorts this as a suggestion to lift the cap – which he is opposed to, and then trails off about how lifting the cap would be another tax increase and hurt small business and the self-employed. But that was not what she was asking.
The caller, Patricia, immediately responded, “That person (self-employed) also gets a tax deduction for half of that.” Ryan bellowed, “no they don’t – they pay full payroll taxes.” The caller then explained to the congressman that the self-employed get to claim half of the taxes they paid into Social Security as a credit. Ryan, “I’m not sure what you’re talking about …(radio host) never heard of that.”
Patricia reiterated that if you’re a self-employed person you pay the full 15.3 because you pay both the employer and employee portions, but when you pay taxes at the end of the year you get to deduct half of that from your gross income so you get a tax break.
The automaton Ryan then repeats his same old fixed talking points again claiming it will penalize the self-employed and it would only buy 6 years of solvency for Social Security and repeats it as a massive tax increase on self-employed people, bla, bla, bla.
However, the caller’s suggestion was superb in my view because it had absolutely, absolutely nothing to do with making any tax rate changes on the self-employed – those precious small businesses Ryan seems so quick to defend. Their rates would stay the same. She was asking whether employees only making over $100,000 could pay the same SS tax rate as if self-employed, to help shore up SS and also be eligible for the self-employed tax credit (for the break).
For someone who portends to be a guru on Social Security and taxes, Ryan got his clock cleaned.
On a separate note. One thing that needs to be said, especially for my younger readers is, when Paul Ryan claims that many suggestions about Social Security, Medicare or taxes are his ideas or that he alone proposed them - that's not true. Most if not all of them have been tossed around in Congress for decades and plenty more are ideas and suggestions from concerned citizens just like Patricia. He only takes those that fit his Randian ideology and compiled them into the roadmap.