The people responsible for the most recent increase in taxes on social security benefits are President Clinton and the 103rd Congress, first session 1993. This tax increase was placed solely on a small, unpopular minority -- those who had done a really good job of providing themselves with private retirement assets. Evidently a highly successful example of class warfare that subsequent congresses somehow cannot repeal.http://zeus.townhall.com/taxcom/ent3.html Since 1983, individuals and married taxpayers above certain incomes have had to pay tax on up to 50% of their social security retirement and disability benefits (corresponding to the half of the payroll tax contributions that had been deducted by employers). In the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (OBRA93), that percentage was increased to as much as 85% for upper middle income taxpayers. (note: This happened under Clinton and the 103d Congress.) http://www.unitedseniors.org/99policy/99agenda.html Social Security Benefits Tax ; USA supports eliminating all taxes on Social Security benefits. As a first step, Congress should repeal the 1993 tax increase on Social Security benefits, which primarily hits middle class retirees, and is unfair, counterproductive, and unnecessary. In addition, Congress should index the income thresholds for inflation. http://thomas.loc.gov/home/r103query.html search on word or phrase for “taxes on Social Security benefits” leads to these 1993 comments by Mr. Bacchus of Florida:“The fact is, if you don't pay taxes on your Social Security benefits now, you will not pay taxes on your benefits once the President's plan is enacted. At present, 80 percent of Social Security beneficiaries do not pay income taxes on their benefits . They won't under the President's plan. For example, seniors earning less than $25,000 currently pay no taxes on their Social Security benefits ; under the President's proposal, they still will not pay taxes on those benefits . “The fact is, the additional tax on Social Security benefits proposed by the Senate--and since endorsed by me with my vote and by the overwhelming majority of the House--applies to only 13 percent of Social Security recipients. These 13 percent are the most affluent by far, with an average net worth of at least $1 million. Taxing them is fair. Clearly, these are not impoverished seniors surviving on meager fixed incomes.”
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