This Social Security change would be ‘easiest and quickest,’ Manchin says. What debt ceiling negotiations may mean for benefits

As Democrats and Republicans negotiate over the nation's debt ceiling, some worry changes to Social Security benefits could be on the line. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said on

Sunday that increasing the payroll taxes wealthy pay may help shore up the program. Now that the U.S. has hit the debt ceiling, lawmakers need to revisit the federal budget and

find ways to make cuts, Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat representing West Virginia, said in interviews this weekend. But that should not include cuts to Social Security and

Medicare benefits, he said. "I've got 60% of my population that that's all they have is Medicare and Social Security," Manchin told NBC's "Meet the Press" on

Sunday. "You think I'm going to go down that path and put them in jeopardy? No," he said. In a separate interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Manchin called for a

key change to help shore up Social Security's ailing funds — raising the cap on payroll taxes that are used to fund the program. "The easiest and quickest thing that we can

do is raise the cap," he said, while also curbing "wasteful spending."How raising payroll tax cap could aid Social Security In 2023, wages up to $160,200 are subject to a

6.2% tax for employees and employers that goes to Social Security. A 1.45% Medicare tax is also paid by employees and employers, though there is no wage limit to those

taxes. Both programs face the prospect of a funding shortfall in the coming years if lawmakers fail to act. Social Security's combined trust funds are projected to become

depleted in 2035, at which point 80% of benefits will be payable, according to an annual report released in June.