Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton plans to raise the payroll tax in order to prevent the Social Security program from going bankrupt, Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine said during Tuesday’s VP debate.
“First, we’re going to protect Social Security, which was one of the greatest programs that the American government has ever done,” Kaine began before adding:
It happened at a time when you would work your whole life — your whole life — raising your kids, working, you know, little league coach or a Sunday school teacher, and then you would retire into poverty.
And Social Security has enabled people to retire with dignity and, overwhelmingly, not be in poverty. We have to keep it solvent, and we will keep it solvent. And we’ll look for strategies like adjusting the payroll tax cap upward in order to do that.
Clinton ridiculed the idea of raising the payroll tax during her presidential bid in 2008, calling it a tax hike on the middle class, according to a report in The Washington Post published in August.
Back then, Clinton argued:
I’m certainly against one of Sen. Obama’s ideas, which is to lift the cap on the payroll tax, because that would impose additional taxes on people who are educators here in the Philadelphia area, or in the suburbs – police officers, firefighters and the like.
So I think we have to be very careful about how we navigate this. So the $250,000 mark is where I’m sure we’re going. But beyond that, we are going to have to look and see where we are.
The Clinton campaign suggested in January the Democratic nominee would be open to an increase in the tax, as well as increasing the types of income that would qualify for the tax, thus expanding the number of workers affected by the proposed increase.