Q3. Which political party started taxing Social Security annuities?
A3. The taxation of Social Security began in 1984 following passage of a set of Amendments in 1983, which were signed into law by President Reagan in April 1983. These amendments passed the Congress in 1983 on an overwhelmingly bi-partisan vote.
The basic rule put in place was that up to 50% of Social Security benefits could be added to taxable income, if the taxpayer's total income exceeded certain thresholds.
The taxation of benefits was a proposal which came from the Greenspan Commission appointed by President Reagan and chaired by Alan Greenspan (who went on to later become the Chairman of the Federal Reserve).
The full text of the Greenspan Commission report is available on our website
President's Reagan's signing statement for the 1983 Amendments can also be found on our website
A detailed explanation of the provisions of the 1983 law is also available on the website