by Liku Zelleke
The year has hardly begun and already America’s elite are done paying their dues to society; at least they are when it comes to fulfilling their Social Security obligations.
According to news reports, the 900 wealthiest Americans have reached their annual income cap in just two days.
On the first and second days of January, these top 900 individuals had already earned $117,000; the maximum total amount social security is allowed to take from an individual income in a whole year.
It was not clear exactly who had made enough money to qualify for the end of the Social Security payments. The information will be hard to ascertain before the end of 2014. What is known is the exact number of individuals who have fulfilled their commitments: 894.
According to the Los Angeles Times, these 894 individuals are members of an exclusive club. Most of them are CEOs who are in the 0.0001 percent of high income earners – the crème de la crème by affluence standards.
Of the 894 individuals, 70 were executives from corporations like Starbucks, ComCast, Pfizer, Philip Morris and NewsCorp.
The income-cap on Social Security is at present one of the most heatedly debated issues in the country. Propositions have been made by politicians and activists to either drastically raise the cap or eliminate it altogether. They argued that these richest-of-rich are the most capable of contributing to the federal program and shouldn’t be exempt.
Unsurprisingly, it was quickly voted down, mostly by Republicans, who are accused of being the party of the rich.
Social Security kept 15.3 million people out of poverty in 2011, according to the Department of Commerce. The same year, 1.7 million people were kept out of poverty by unemployment insurance.
In 2009, Democrats successfully raised the cap from $106,800 to the current level. But, unfortunately for millions of Americans who rely on the program, much of the political discussions since have been focusing on slashing benefits.