Obama: Tax more income for Soc Sec
WASHINGTON - Democrat Barack Obama said Sunday that if elected he will push to increase the amount of income that is taxed to provide monthly Social Security benefits.Now there really isn't anything wrong with what he is proposing but why in the hell is he talking about it. Progressives managed to convince the American people that Social Security was not a big problem in spite of fear mongering on the part of the Bush Administration and Republicans who simply want to kill it. The Democratic primary campaign is not a place to bring it up again. As Paul Krugman says:
Obama and other Democratic presidential candidates previously have signaled support for this idea.
But during an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," Obama said subjecting more of a person's income to the payroll tax is the option he would push for if elected president.
He objected to benefit cuts or a higher retirement age.
"I think the best way to approach this is to adjust the cap on the payroll tax so that people like myself are paying a little bit more and people who are in need are protected," the Illinois senator said.
"That is the option that I will be pushing forward."
The great Social Security debate of 2005 was a seminal moment for American progressives. Conventional fiscal wisdom in the Beltway was that the aging population is THE big problem — when the truth is that grim long-run fiscal projections mainly reflect projected health care costs. And conventional political wisdom was that the Bush administration’s fear-mongering on the issue would work.So shut the fuck up Obama - Tim Russert doesn’t vote in Iowa.
But a determined defense by progressives in the media, on the blogs, and in Congress beat back one spurious argument after another, while the American people made it clear that they really want a program that guarantees a basic retirement income that doesn’t depend on the Dow. And Social Security survived.
All of which makes it just incredible that Barack Obama would make obeisance to fashionable but misguided Social Security crisis-mongering a centerpiece of his campaign. It’s a bad omen; it suggests that he is still, despite all that has happened, desperately seeking approval from Beltway insiders.