It's good to know that the Social Security trustees' 2013 report shows that Social Security is still in good shape and can pay full benefits for another 20 years. The $2.73 trillion surplus in the trust fund means that there is no crisis as some would have us believe.
Congress has ample time to make modest and manageable changes to ensure that full benefits can continue for future generations.
However, any decisions about future changes must be done outside of the debt and deficit talks. Only then will cool heads prevail so that helpful proposals like raising the wage cap can move forward. After all, when the payroll tax is collected only on the first $113,700 of earned income, it is only fair to expect that workers earning above that amount should make Social Security payroll contributions on all their wages like the rest of us. This would significantly improve the long-term outlook for a program that most Americans will continue to depend on.