The SanityPrompt

This blog represents some small and occasional efforts to add a note of sanity to discussions of politics and policy. This blog best viewed with Internet Explorer @ 1024x768

Thursday, June 09, 2005

USA Today Puts Its Cards on the Table

Unless there was any remaining doubt, USA Today adds another hammer to that false edifice of the Liberal Media. Seems they don't take too kindly to the idea of raising the cap on wages subject to Social Security taxes.

USA Today June 9: Taxing the rich won't solve Social Security's problems: "But as with a lot of things that seem easy, this tax-the-affluent-minority idea has real drawbacks. Any plan that would fix Social Security solely by taxing a relatively small number of wage earners would undermine its support. Social Security enjoys broad public backing because it is seen as a retirement savings and disability program, not a welfare program. Workers contribute while they work, then collect when they retire.

If the nearly 10 million people who make more than $90,000 a year are asked to pay in a great deal more than they will get out, that principle would be shattered. A 12.4% Social Security tax on all income, combined with other federal and state taxes, would result in affluent self-employed people paying more in taxes than they keep for themselves. That is hardly the way to bolster support for a program about which Americans are expressing increasing doubts."

They aren't doubtful about the program. They are doubtful that the program will be there. And by the editor's own admission, eliminating the ceiling will close the funding gap entirely. And let's consider that notion that "Any plan that would fix Social Security solely by taxing a relatively small number of wage earners would undermine its support." Hmmm, but cutting benefits on middle income families and a significant portion of beneficiaries isn't likely to erode that support and make it seem like a welfare program? Does USA Today honestly expect us to believe that up until now every single person got out what they paid into Social Security? And I am not just talking about those folks who die before they get everything back. Social Security has built in progressive features already. But asking all people to support the program to the same degree financially, in the same proportion of income (and recall that this is wage income only), is going to make this a welfare program and erode support? From whom? 10 million Americans, among whom we can likely count all the editors and managers at USA Today and Gannet? I love it when wealthy elites ask the American middle class and working families to suck it up and suffer more, to sacrifice, as if that isn't what they are doing more and more of every day in this brave new world?


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