Thursday, April 21, 2005

History and what Social Security 'reform' is really about

I'm surprised that this idea hasn't been explored more: Namely, that this so-called Social Security reform is really about using the money to cover budget shortfalls from huge tax cuts. Josh Marshall points out that the treasury secretary acknowledged as much today, but from what I can tell, this is part of an old playbook.

Not long ago, I read David Cay Johnston's excellent "Perfectly Legal," in which he sketches out the real rationale for the 1982 Soc. Sec. "fix." Here's the money quote from p. 122:
Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a New York Democrat and a scholar with a long history of studying social policy issues, said the Social Security scare was a phantom. He said raising more from Social Security taxes simply masked the drop in tax revenues caused by the Reagan tax cuts. Moynihan called the Social Security tax hike "thievery." The beneficiaries of the stolen goods, he said, were the rich who would get to keep their Reagan income tax cuts while everyone below them paid more in taxes.

That doesn't sound familiar, does it?

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 6:34 PM

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