On behalf of FreedomWorks’ activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to cosponsor the Senior Citizens Tax Elimination Act, H.R. 3971, if they haven’t already done so. Introduced by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and boasting more than a dozen original, bipartisan cosponsors, the Senior Citizens Tax Elimination Act would get rid of the double-tax on seniors’ Social Security benefits.
When the Social Security Administration (SSA) was founded in 1935, the stated goal of its new program was to provide social insurance to retired workers through payroll taxes on current workers. In recent decades, these payroll taxes have increasingly been insufficient to keep the Social Security trust fund solvent in the long term. As a result, the SSA has sought new ways to fill its coffers. Most astonishingly, the agency has, for decades and with congressional approval, been taxing senior citizens on the benefits they receive through social security.
According to the Congressional Research Service, “In 2018, revenue from the taxation of benefits totaled $35.0 billion, accounting for 3.5% of the program’s total income.” That $35 billion was supposed to be helping retired people pay for food and housing. Instead, after it was distributed to Social Security recipients, it ended up right back in the hands of the federal government.
Until Congress decided in 1983 to subject some Social Security benefits to the federal income tax, benefits were not considered taxable income. This was as it should be, because Social Security contributions are already taxed on the front end. To tax them again as income when seniors receive them is unfair. It showcases the greed of Washington to take more and more of Americans’ money wherever it can.
As Rep. Massie said, “Although seniors have already paid tax on their Social Security contributions via the payroll tax, they are still required to list these benefits as taxable income on their tax returns,” said Rep. Massie. “This is simply a way for Congress to obtain more revenue for the federal government at the expense of seniors who have already paid into Social Security.”
Originally introduced in 2003 by then-Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), we are appreciative of Rep. Massie taking over leadership on this issue. Rep. Massie has introduced and advocated for passage of the bill in each Congress since he took office in 2012. For these reasons, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to cosponsor the Senior Citizens Tax Elimination Act, H.R. 3971, if they haven’t already done so.