Thursday, February 10, 2005

SS Cap under discussion, finally

It may not come to pass, but at last public discussion of raising the earnings cap for FICA contributions is being discussed. I have been complaining from the jump that no one in a position to do anything about it was even mentioning the possibility.

A USA Today poll aims the spotlight...

Two-thirds of those surveyed by USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup last weekend say it would be a "good idea" to limit retirement benefits for the wealthy and to subject all wages to payroll taxes. Now, annual earnings above $90,000 aren't taxed. (Related: Poll results)

But some ideas that President Bush said in his State of the Union address were on the table for consideration are rejected by solid majorities. By more than 2 to 1, Americans oppose reducing retirement benefits for those now under age 55. Nearly as many say it's a bad idea to raise the retirement age, and 57% are against reducing benefits for early retirees.

Six in 10 oppose raising Social Security taxes for everybody, a step Bush has ruled out.

He hasn't made it clear whether that also includes boosting the cap on wages that are taxed. "We don't want to raise taxes as a solution," White House spokesman Trent Duffy said Tuesday when asked about that issue. "But on specifics, we don't want to negotiate with ourselves."

The willingness to support sacrifices by somebody else isn't surprising.

As the saying goes, anyone who runs on a platform of robbing Peter to pay Paul can depend on Paul's vote.
Sooner or later the cat was going to get out of the bag.

Hey, I worked all my life as a Peter, but now I'm a Paul. My attitude about taxes has always been like that of a man who said "I would be honored to sign my name to a note for half a million dollars." Plenty of people would be pleased to have paid that much in taxes.

Brad Plumer comments.
Also Matthew Yglesias.
And others...

Rep. Clay Shaw (R-Florida) is a guest on C-SPAN's Washington Journal. According to him the system was set up from the beginning to have any "excess" revenue collected for FICA th "flow" into the general fund. Don't you love the language?

He admitted that the term "trust fund" was a misnomer. Said he looked it up in Black's law dictionary and found it didn't really apply.
Callers are beginning to ask questions indicating that an informed public debate is beginning to take place.

(In an unsettling aside, Rep. Shaw said "Medicare is in worse shape than Social Security." I would like to think he doesn't know what he is talking about but I know better. He is more likely understating the problem.)

1 comment:

Deborah said...