Thursday, March 27, 2008

When Sucking Fails, They Blow

Novakula breaks out a new GOP meme this morning in his Washington Post column. Recognizing the failure of the great Republican attack of 2005 on Social Security -- in which Bush and his party, ostensibly concerned about the ability of the system to meet its future obligations, tried to divert payroll taxes toward their Wall Street benefactors in the form of "'personal' accounts" that would miraculously produce fishes and loaves -- Novak calls for St. McCain to cut -- CUT! -- the 6.2% payroll levy.

Where would the revenues necessary to fund Social Security -- revenues that the Republicans have been warning us since long before 2005 were falling dangerously short of obligations -- come from? Here's Novak's back-of-the-envelope accounting:

Even Republican advocates of cutting the payroll tax talk about offsetting it with reduced future benefits. That's a bargain young workers would buy in a minute, and current Social Security recipients would be assured that their pensions would not be reduced one penny. Nevertheless, Democrats would feast on any Republican hint of slashing payments.

The perceived need to offset losses in payroll tax revenue stems from a belief that the Social Security trust fund must be replenished. The truth is that there is no such fund, and the heavy payroll tax revenue resulting from the Greenspan Commission's 1983 "reform" not only provides enough money for Social Security but funds other programs, as well.

Yeah, yeah, that's it. The problem isn't a shortfall, it's a surplus. So cut away, St. McCain. And tell the kids and the grandkids to call Ditech, like we did. There's your fiscal responsibility for you. Suckers...