Being a young business owner in Maine has been a life lesson in carrying oneself by one’s bootstraps.

Part of the equation for independent small-business owners is that we haven’t put money into corporate pensions and we will be depending on Social Security – beyond what we can save – when we retire. Thus, a strong Social Security program is in our interest as young business people.

And we, too, like generations before us, will one day depend on it.

Indeed, a strong system that keeps pace with inflation and in which benefits aren’t slowly and stealthily eroded away is vital to the health and well-being of Maine’s seniors and others eligible for its benefits. My own mother, who has been disabled for many years, has no means of support other than Social Security.

How many people like her struggle to survive on very little? Do they deserve to have their benefits cut when millionaires don’t have to pay Social Security taxes on income above the $117,000 cap – thus depriving the system of needed revenue?

The fiscal challenges of Social Security are related to revenue, and we have a choice as more people enter into retirement and live longer lives.

We can choose to accept cuts to Supplemental Security Income benefits and protect an arbitrary and unfair system, or we can raise the cap significantly. Higher earners would pay their fair share. Social Security and its legacy for future generations can be strengthened simply by eliminating or raising the cap on income subject to the tax.

Scrapping that cap brings millionaires to the same tax rate as the middle class, eliminating any reasonable concerns of long-term financing. Benefits for current and future retirees could be improved, helping keep the more vulnerable out of poverty.

Alex Jackimovicz