Under the current system, payroll taxes are paid only on the first $90,000 in wages. Bush has repeatedly said that he opposes raising taxes, but his advisers have been intentionally vague about whether he would also rule out subjecting a greater share of pay to the existing tax.
Asked directly, Bush said that he would not rule out raising that cap, though he does not want to see the payroll tax rate go up. The rate is now 12.4 percent of pay, split between workers and employers.
“The one thing I’m not open-minded about is raising the payroll tax rate. And all the other issues go on the table,” Bush told a roundtable of regional newspapers, according to an account Wednesday in the New Haven (Conn.) Register.
“I’m interested in good ideas. People need to come forth with good ideas. The one thing I won’t do is negotiate with myself,” Bush added.