Skip to main content

View Diary: URGENT: Last chance to get a better tax cut deal (163 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  The most dangerous thing about this (46+ / 0-)

    Is the FICA tax holiday Trojan Horse.

    I could stomach the tax cuts for the rich easier than that.  It's clearly the Republicans' wedge to destroy social security.  Please get your colleagues to wake up to this threat.

    "[W]e shall see the reign of witches pass over . . . and the people, recovering their true spirit, restore their government to its true principles." Jefferson

    by RenMin on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 02:02:05 PM PST

    •  Ditto and a recc for you. (17+ / 0-)

      I'll say it again:  PLEASE help your colleagues recognize the threat to Social Security in the so-called "payroll tax holiday."  

    •  Ezra Klein has a different opinion (5+ / 0-)

      Ezra Klein addressed this in a recent post. Read it for a different opinion written by a Democrat.

      From Ezra's post:

      But some liberals are understandably concerned that the payroll cut will be extended indefinitely. Then Social Security loses part of its long-term funding. And then what? More benefit cuts? Privatization?

      I say, bring it on. Cutting payroll taxes and replacing them with general fund revenues is appealing in two ways. First, payroll taxes are much more regressive than income taxes. Second, I'm actually fine with breaking the sanctity of Social Security's closed funding loop. A lot of liberals disagree with me on this point, but hear me out.

      •  The minute that closed funding loop is broken (13+ / 0-)

        is the minute that Social Security begins to die.

        Ezra Klein must have a nice trust fund somewhere and isn't worried about having a job at 50 that will keep him from eating up his paltry savings ten years before he's eligible for Social Security.

        Klein is bucking for permanent villager status. It's appalling how much of a shill he is for The Powers That Be.

        "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

        by Brooke In Seattle on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 03:21:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Klein on Social Security (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sophie Amrain, RenMin, Onomastic

          You give nothing in support of your position. All you did was attack Klein and not his argument. Klein continues (convincingly in my opinion):

          Historically, Social Security has paid for itself through payroll taxes. But because Americans began having fewer kids during the 20th century, it's no longer paying for itself through payroll taxes. So now many in Washington want to cut the program's benefits to bring its spending in line with its trust fund.

          But there are lots of programs and priorities that don't pay for themselves. The Defense Department, for instance. The United States Congress. The mortgage-interest tax deduction. There's no reason we can't preserve Social Security's benefits by spending somewhat more of our general fund revenues on Social Security and somewhat less of them on Medicare or tax cuts for the wealthy or incentives to buy big homes.

          There's an argument in liberal circles that Social Security's funding structure, rather than its benefits, are what keeps it safe, as people feel they paid into the program and so protect it from attempts to cuts its benefits later on. I just don't buy it: Medicaid, the Earned Income Tax Credit, the military, farm subsidies and plenty of other policies that aren't pay-as-you-go have survived and prospered because they were popular with the American people, not because they had a particularly appealing funding structure. Moreover, its funding structure is currently forcing cuts that I think to be a bad idea, and that are decidedly unpopular. So whatever protection it once offered, it's now pushing in the opposite direction.

          Why is Klein wrong? I was around when President Bush and a Republican Congress tried to throw Social Security to the Wall Street wolves. Democrats then, even out of power, were able to beat that back because they had the public with them. Keep the public on our side and we'll keep Social Security safe.

          I'd add another point in favor of his argument. No one gets a little box on every paycheck showing how much they just paid for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. If they did, they might just decide the cost was too high. Somehow, even though people see thousands of dollars a year going to Social Security they still support it by a majority. If that box starts showing a lower number why will people then decide the program is too expensive? It's entirely reasonable to suggest that removing Social Security's separate funding mechanism would REDUCE pressure for change

      •  Interesting. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Curt Matlock, RenMin, roadbear

        He raises some valid points but so do some of the commenters who respond.

        Think I want more conversation about the points he raises, from him and others.

        Thanks for the link Curt.

        "I get up, I walk, I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing." Daniel Hillel

        by Onomastic on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 03:44:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Social Security Funding Mechanism (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kitsap River, RenMin, Onomastic

          I'm a nearly fanatical defender of Social Security. Granny Doc just wrote a diary and in this comment I explain why I feel so strongly about it. Klein's post is the first time I've seen this argument but it really does make sense to me. I've spent alot of time arguing with people who try to tell me the Social Security Trust Fund is imaginary or has already been spent. In light of Klein's argument I wonder now if we might indeed be better off moving away from the Trust Fund and towards funding it with ordinary taxation.

          I haven't made up my mind about that yet but regardless of where it is funded I will promise you that there will be hell to pay if we're told we just can't afford to pay benefits at their current level anymore. It makes more sense to me to LOWER the retirement age given current joblessness than it does to raise it. We've got plenty of money in this country. It's just a question of our priorities. In my mind, old age security comes before just about everything else. As I said in that other comment I don't care if you're a Democrat or a Republican ... if you try to harm Social Security I'll be manning the barricades and doing everything I can to battle you to the end.

          •  I'll be right there with you on the barricade. (5+ / 0-)

            If the so called "deficit hawks" are so worried about funding then they can take the income cap off. We don't have an income cap for Medicare, though the monies paid in by both employer and employee are at a lower rate.

            There are fair ways to ensure the program's health without making the middle and lower classes take a hit yet again.

            I'm so tired of the wealthy being treated as sacred untouchable icons.

            "I get up, I walk, I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing." Daniel Hillel

            by Onomastic on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 04:44:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Me too (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Curt Matlock, RenMin, roadbear

              With my dialysis machine, if necessary. I am really serious about handcuffing myself to the White House fence while I am actively dialyzing which means someone has to help me out with a portable generator to run it. But I would sure like to see the security deal with a dialysis patient whose blood is visibly coming out of her arm and circulating through a dialysis machine at the time she is cuffed to the White House fence. They won't know what to do.

              Living kidney donor needed; type B, O, or incompatible (with paired donation). Drop me a note (see profile).

              by Kitsap River on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 05:02:02 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site