February 22, 2005

Don't Just Do Something, Stand There!

Who'd have guessed the Left would be standing athwart history yelling, "Stop!"?

You don't have to look hard for suggested solutions to Social Security. President Bush proposes private accounts. Liberals want a number of minor tweaks. One common proposal is to raise the maximum level of wages subject to payroll tax from its current $90,000 to, say, $150,000.

Here's another solution to the alleged crisis: Do nothing.

Wow, I must have been dreaming when President Bill Clinton said, "Save Social Security first," as soon as he had a surplus (by counting Social Security taxes, incidentally). Or perhaps I was hallucinating about Vice President Al Gore's campaign mantra, "Lock Box." Gosh, maintaining a consistent position when political power shifts in Washington, D.C., is awfully hard.

But semi-seriously, how about taking the cap off FICA "contributions" with no upper limit, but eliminating the employer match for all FICA "contributions" above the cap and not counting these contributions towards increasing benefits for the "contributor"? This puts money into the program from those who can afford it (Ed. -- Yes, I know, this is heresy) without adding anything to a business' cost for employing people. It also adds nothing to the red ink on the ledger since no new benefits are being paid out. This is just a suggestion as part of a solution, not the whole solution, but I've never understood why a liberal program should be so regressive in its approach to taxation by only taxing people to a point and then letting all income above that to go untaxed. Of course, for intellectual consistency, this also requires seeing Social Security for what it really is, i.e., welfare for the aged, and not as a retirement program. But I digress.

Posted by Charles Austin at February 22, 2005 10:37 PM

Because once they take the caps off on taxes but keep the cap on payouts OR reduce the payouts for the "rich".....then SS will quickly come to be seen as what it is: a welfare scheme. And that'll be the end of SS.

Posted by: ray at 09:47 PM