Self-employed persons were not covered until 1951
Please note that from 1937 until 1950 workers contributed only one percent of their salary, matched by another one percent from their employer, and the self-employed paid nothing. Compare that with the 15.3 percent collected today, currently capped at $89,000 salaries.
In 1983, legislation was passed raising payroll taxes far beyond what was necessary for Social Security to meet all of its obligations to the retired and disabled for some time to come. Implemented over the next seven years to its present 15.3 percent rate, these taxes have produced enormous surplus/profits for the government to steal and squander elsewhere.
Although some of todays spinmeisters would like you to believe that the 1983 increase was to provide savings or a contingency fund for the baby-boomer generation, this simply isnt true. It only comes up as a rationale in hindsight. Besides, what good is a contingency fund consisting of nothing but debt?
Actually, raising payroll taxes in 1983 was the brainchild of Senators Bob Dole and Daniel Patrick Moynihan who had just spent a year in monthly meetings with the Greenspan Commission to save Social Security. A commission that was formed because for six or seven years prior to 1983 and a great many reasons having to do with the economy during the Carter administration Social Security had suffered shortfalls and turned to its trust funds to meet obligations.
The so-called Social Security trust fund (the combination of the Federal Old Age & Survivors Insurance and the Federal Disability Insurance trusts that we normally think of as one) held about $50 billion in debt markers before this seven year shortfall and was tapped for only about half of that. Everyone in Congress knew that these trusts held nothing but debt that could only be redeemed by raising taxes, borrowing, cutting benefits or robbing Peter to pay Paul; i.e., taking it from income taxes budgeted to be spent elsewhere.
By the time the Greenspan Commission delivered its final report in January of 1983, the crisis was over and few were interested in reading a long report in Greenspeak that dealt primarily with actuarial data. Thats when Moynihan and Dole meet in the halls of Congress and hatched their scheme to raise payroll taxes.
Everyone in Congress thought that, since Dole and Moynihan were part of the commission, they must know what theyre talking about and by March legislation to raise payroll taxes passed in record time.
Moynihan himself detailed all of this in a speech titled "Social Security Saved" that he delivered on March 16, 1998, at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Moynihan gained the reputation of being Mr. Social Security
and in 2001, when George W. Bush set up another committee to study ways
to implement his plan for private accounts he selected Moynihan
to co-chair the committee. It was the equivalent of putting the fox back
in the chicken coop.