I had quite a surprise the other day. Someone had made a comment about Social Security not being an "earned right" but in fact being a tax. A little Google search found that they'd gotten this language from a post at the CATO institute, which I usually find to be pretty much libertarian claptrap. But upon reading the post in question (http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=5776) I find that there are apparently Supreme Court decisions this CATO institute guy say found that Social Security is not, as commonly thought, an insurance, but is indeed a tax! Now, I'm not a lawyer—if you are, read that post, look up the cases, and see if this is true or not.
The CATO guy, Michael D. Tanner, was using this argument to say that no one, just because they pay into Social Security, has an "earned right" to receive money back. But the ramifications of this are much bigger than that.
This is potentially a big deal. As the lady on Thom's show was just saying in the last segment, if SS is an insurance policy, then eliminating the cap would be inappropriate. But what happens to that argument if, indeed, SS is actually a tax??!! Imagine if any other tax was limited to a certain amount. Imagine if sales taxes only applied to the first thousand dollars of something you bought? Or if Income Tax only applied to your first $100,000? If SS is actually a tax, any cap whatsoever is inappropriate!
So, someone who knows law, please check this out! Tell us what the facts are!