Job Creators Network member Kelly Brozyna, who’s spent 25 years advocating on behalf of small business owners and their employees, testified at a hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee Thursday and warned that the Democrats’ Social Security 2100 Act would dramatically increase the payroll tax and devastate job creation.
“This proposal would raise the payroll tax over several years by 2.4 percentage points to 14.8 percent of earned income,” Ms. Brozyna testified. “On the surface, this seems like a small tax increase, but it would take a painful bite out of the incomes of entrepreneurs, workers, and small business owners…Small businesses are the backbone of the economy and our society. We need to support creative entrepreneurs and help them make their dreams come true, not burden them with tax increases that will only stunt entrepreneurial growth and creativity and reduce our living standards.”
Bill sponsor and Social Security Chairman John Larson (D-CT) suggests, “For the average worker this would mean paying an additional 50 cents per week.” But that’s just the first year. For a worker making about $15 an hour or $30,000 annually, by 2029 her combined Social Security taxes would rise from $3,720 to $4,020. By 2043 her annual Social Security taxes would rise further to $4,440, or $720 more than today. Over the entire 25-year period, she would lose nearly $10,000 in added “contributions” and lower wages.
The payroll tax hikes wouldn’t end there. Some estimates peg Democrats’ proposed new paid leave program as costing the same $30,000 per year worker an extra $870 per year due to a new 2.9% payroll tax for that. And Medicare is in even worse financial shape than Social Security, so shoring up that system — much less paying for “Medicare for All” and its own possible new 7.5% payroll tax — will almost certainly require additional taxes on workers.
Are Americans ready for this brave new world of sky-high payroll taxes? The potential total (14.8% eventually for Social Security, 2.9% for paid leave, and 7.5% for Medicare for All) would sum to an unprecedented 25% federal payroll tax rate on all workers, starting with the first dollar they earn. That’s up from about 15% today, without even counting payroll taxes that fund unemployment benefits. (And that’s also without adding higher gas taxes and new carbon and value added taxes, which some have also proposed and would also disproportionately affect low- and middle-income workers.)