Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

A Pledge from out of the Past

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

A Pledge from out of the Past

Article excerpt

The Senate and House are back in session this week, with Republicans in control of both bodies for the first time since the 1950s. Will the GOP make good on its ambitious Contract With America, particularly the pledge to enact a series of tax cuts? Watch this space.

Meanwhile, consider the pledge taken in "Security in Your Old Age," a federal government pamphlet issued in 1936 to explain the brand-new system of Social Security taxes that was to take effect the following year:

Your Part of the Tax

The taxes called for in this law will be paid both by your employer and by you. For the next 3 years you will pay maybe 15 cents a week, maybe 25 cents a week, maybe 30 cents or more, according to what you earn. That is to say, during the next 3 years, beginning January 1, 1937, you will pay 1 cent for every dollar you earn, and at the same time your employer will pay 1 cent for every dollar you earn, up to $3,000 a year. Twenty-six million other workers and their employers will be paying at the same time.

After the first 3 years - that is to say, beginning in 1940 - you will pay, and your employer will pay, 1 1/2 cents for each dollar you earn, up to $3,000 a year. This will be the tax for 3 years, and then, beginning in 1943, you will pay 2 cents, and so will your employer, for every dollar you earn for the next 3 years. After that, you and your employer will each pay half a cent more for 3 years, and finally, beginning in 1949, twelve years from now, you and your employer will each pay 3 cents on each dollar you earn, up to $3,000 a year. That is the most you will ever pay. (Emphasis added.)

That top-tax-of-$90 assurance from out of the past notwithstanding, you might have to reckon with yet another rise in 1995 for FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) taxes, also known as Social Security taxes.

Those FICA withholdings of payroll taxes from salaries and wages that started with January's paychecks are going to last a little longer for anyone with earnings above $60,600 for 1995. …

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