Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Alan Greenspan: Reverse Robin Hood

In 1983, as chairman of a bipartisan Social Security commission, Alan Greenspan said the only way to make Social Security solvent through the baby boom is to make those workers pay for their benefits in advance. Since then, American workers have been paying far more in Social Security taxes than has been paid to beneficiaries -- $1.8 trillion more than has been paid out. This year, Americans will pay about 50% more in Social Security taxes than the government will pay out in benefits. But instead of being held in trust or used to pay down deficits, the Social Security surplus is being used to finance other aspects of government.

Now, Mr. Greenspan is suggesting Social Security benefits be cut while keeping the Social Security payroll tax at current levels, so that the Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy can be made permanent. Mr. Greenspan's suggestion will change our Social Security program from a social program for elderly Americans into an income redistribution program that transform the Social Security taxes paid by the working classes into tax cuts for those making over $300,000 a year.

We should repeal the Bush tax cuts for the rich before cutting the Social Security safety net from beneath our nation's elderly.

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