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Allison Schrager

Biden Can’t Pay for Everything by Just Taxing the Wealthy

Everyone — not just the highest earners — will need to ante up more if we want to pay for all the new government Democrats envision.

Not enough to go around.

Not enough to go around.

Photographer: Giorgio Viera/AFP

The Biden administration has big plans to expand the government’s role in the economy. It’s also promising that no one who earns less than $400,000 will pay more in taxes. We can’t have both. Even paying for current government will require that everyone level up their contributions or learn to live with fewer government services.

Social Security is the elephant in the room. If nothing is done to increase funding for the program, benefits will have to be cut 20% in the next 10 to 12 years as reserves run dry and we have fewer people paying in to cover the outflows. That’s clearly unacceptable because many seniors depend on that money. The sooner we address the problem, the smaller the cost will be to fix it.