Tim Russert Doesn't Understand the Payroll Tax
Interviewing Kerry, he said (talking about raising the cap from $86,000)
MR. RUSSERT: (quoting the Boston Globe) "Another idea Kerry said he would consider is raising the cut-off point after which people no longer pay into the system. Americans pay Social Security taxes only on the first $86,000 they earn in a year."
SEN. KERRY: Yeah.
MR. RUSSERT: 6.2 percent. So if you raise that cap, say from $86,000 to $120,000, a husband and wife making $60,000 each, you’re going to raise their taxes up $2,000.
Huh!? Hello, Tim Russert, the cap is per individual. If they make $60k each, they are not at the current cap, so raising the cap does nothing. How can you not understand this basic fact? I really wish Kerry would have slapped this back in his face, instead he went on and on about means testing. Oh well.
Update: The transcript
is finally available (I edited the quote above to match the transcript exactly).