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Higher Social Security taxes on the horizon?
Posted by: McQ on Monday, January 08, 2007

Robert Novak seems to think so.

Indicator one:
Henry M. Paulson Jr. is a shark on Wall Street but a rookie on Pennsylvania Avenue. As Bush's third secretary of the Treasury, he has engaged in secret bipartisan talks discussing an increase in the current $97,500 limit on personal income subject to the Social Security payroll tax. That would spike up the top marginal tax rate, demolishing supply-side tax principles that Republican administrations have purportedly followed for 26 years.
Indicator two:
White House spokesman Tony Snow, an ardent supply-sider as a columnist and commentator who must be personally against a higher payroll tax, dances around the question in public briefings. Congressional Republicans are running into a stone wall from usually cooperative Treasury and Social Security administration officials when they request economic data that would demonstrate the folly of lifting the payroll cap.
Indicator three:
But Paulson is the source of most Republican apprehension. He has engaged in private talks with Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, who now calls himself an "Independent Democrat." Graham for more than two years has been seeking Lieberman's participation in a bipartisan Social Security reform that includes a higher payroll tax base.

When Graham began crafting his compromise in November 2004, the premise was that each party would accept something painful. In return for Republicans agreeing to payroll taxes on higher income, Democrats would have to swallow Bush's proposed personal retirement accounts, which would be financed by cutting into payroll taxes that now all go into Social Security. But no Democrat, not even Lieberman, is willing to accept that. Democrats refuse to talk with Republicans about personal accounts "carved out" of the present system.
So, as usual, the Republican "carve out" is becoming "cave in". Per Novak, the plan would be higher taxes without the personal retirement accounts. Instead:
Indeed, a "carve out" is now a dead letter. New personal retirement accounts could be passed only as an "add on" — financed voluntarily by individuals whose contributions to Social Security would remain unchanged. Higher payroll taxes would be imposed only to save the present system as part of a broader entitlement reform.
Funny how just a few short months ago, Democrats were telling us how Social Security was just fine and wasn't in need of "saving" or "securing", but now, apparently, is in need of being saved by higher payroll taxes.
Eliminating the cap on payroll taxes would constitute the largest tax increase in U.S. history, estimated by the Heritage Foundation during the last Congress at $1.4 trillion over 10 years. This analysis predicted that such a step would cost nearly a million jobs and more than $55 billion in projected personal savings.

The economic woe resulting from higher payroll taxes would be matched by political damage to the president if this outcome were adopted by the Democratic-controlled Congress with his approval but support from only a few Republican legislators. That political calamity can be averted if Bush takes any payroll tax increase off the negotiating table, just as Democrats refuse to talk about a partially privatized Social Security system.
Mitch McConnell, in his talk with bloggers, and in his address to the Senate on the opening day of Congress said tax increases are non-negotiable. If Novak is right, this will be a good test of that promise and his leadership.
 
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Per Novak, the plan would be higher taxes without the personal retirement accounts.
God, I hope you a$$holes who thought gridlock would even happen or be good if it did weren’t as wrong as you might have been.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
So, as usual, the Republican "carve out" is becoming "cave in".
So if it’s "as usual", tell me again why you thought gridlock was in the offing?

Criminy.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp

PS. Maybe it won’t happen...which does nothing to explain the incoherence of your post.
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
If republicans let this happen they will find themselves in the permanant minority.
 
Written By: Director Mitch
URL: www.windowmanager.blogspot.com
If republicans let this happen they will find themselves in the permanant minority.
They’ll find they’re a 3rd party. Which would be Okay, it’s just we were so close to having the Democrats be the 3rd party, and they’re worse anyway. Now we’re set to have to cross the finish line on the other side of the 50yd line.

Bassackwards nonstrategic thinkers, thinking they’re going to punish the Republicans, when all they could do now is actually reward and empower Democrats.

Fvcking idiots the lot of them.

Yours, TDP, ml,msl, & pfpp

Pardon my french.

Dangit.
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
God, I hope you a$$holes who thought gridlock would even happen or be good if it did weren’t as wrong as you might have been.
Tom quit beating this idiotic drum. We were quite specific about what we wanted as an outcome and it isn’t what happened.

Secondly, you a$$holes who thought what was coming out of the Republican House was acceptable enough to return them are much more frightening than those who wanted to see the spending train derailed by putting Republicans back in a position of being philosophically true to their supposed principles (speaking of a lack of strategic thinking).

What, did you think they’d change by magic?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
This is great. In exchange for a massive tax increase, people would be allowed to invest their non-social-security taxes in the stock market. In other words, in exchange for a massive tax increase . . . nothing else changes.
 
Written By: Sean
URL: http://www.myelectionanalysis.com
You can see why raising the Social Security cap is so attractive to Democrats. It pleases their base by extorting money from the Republican base. The question is why any sane Republican would go along with it.

Of course, I wondered the same thing when Bush put out his Medicare Rx plan, too. And it was actually proposed by the head Republican (Bush), and many Republicans voted for it.

They got no credit for their welfare state overtures. The media made sure that the worst aspects of the program, such as bureaucratic snafus, were highlighted, so the GOP didn’t impress many undecideds with that effort. But the base notices the circa one trillion liability it imposed, and wondered why they worked so hard to elect this guy.

Is the GOP really stupid enough for a re-run? If they sign on, the Democrats will get all the credit for "saving Social Security", and the GOP base will again realize that their leaders gave in to welfare state tendencies.

I’m not quite to Bill Quick levels of disgust with Bush, but, really, just how many domestic policy mistakes can he make? On balance, it’s starting to look like Clinton’s domestic record was better. He signed welfare reform and crop subsidy reform, for example, and created no new large-scale programs. If Bush signs on to an effective tax increase, then the last domestic policy area where he was clearly better than Clinton goes away.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
If they want to do this, they should propose a long term solution and not a stopgap. Let them propose a bill that increases payroll taxes now, and includes the estimated payroll tax increases needed for the next 40 years. Wouldn’t you love to see a bill that required any new legislation on SS to include estimates of the future costs and tax needs based on conservative economic forecasting?

When John and Jane public see that before they retire they will be paying half of their income in payroll taxes, they might be able to see that this may not be the way go.

I always look forward to the point in the year after I hit the SS cap and that 7.5% scam goes away for a little while. This scheme is not a big hit to supply side policy, it isn’t like the genuinely wealthy are going to take the brunt of it, it’s just people who are a generally a little older, a little more successful, but still struggling with the same reponsibilities (college, healthcare, etc..) that everyone else has to deal with. It’s barely anything but a middle class tax hike.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Me
Mcq:
God, I hope you a$$holes who thought gridlock would even happen or be good if it did weren’t as wrong as you might have been.
Tom quit beating this idiotic drum.
Once it’s out of tune.
We were quite specific about what we wanted as an outcome and it isn’t what happened.
No you got what you wanted to within a negligible fraction-—and the risk of that fraction occurring and it’s size was exacerbated by your pursuit of your goal-—supposed gridlock and the punishment of the Republicans.
Secondly, you a$$holes who thought what was coming out of the Republican House was acceptable enough to return them are much more frightening than those who wanted to see the spending train derailed by putting Republicans back in a position of being philosophically true to their supposed principles (speaking of a lack of strategic thinking).
What was coming from the Republicans was acceptable compared to what would come from the Democrats, and as for magically being able to put just the right spin on the election that you “punished” the Republicans by solely taking the House from…well we all know you overshot, and that that was a plausible outcome of your petty impulse. If you didn’t get what you said you wanted, you certainly got what could come from trying for it. Own it.

As for strategic thinking, politics is the art of the possible, and it is the art of compromise. In order for the Republicans to get some of what they want, they must needs now give the Democrats more of what they want. And you thought this would be better.

This was always true even if the Dems only took the House, it was always a grotesquely stupid idea to think the Republicans—with no history of it—would be substantially let alone purely obstructionist.

And this with many of the surviving Republicans being the people who created the spending you think is so disastrous…

…that you thought they would magically do a 180 because bigger spenders were in the House?
What, did you think they’d change by magic?
I didn’t care to attempt to change the Republicans when they were both the less vulnerable party and the lesser of the two evils. The Democrats were the worst problem and the more vulnerable.

If they had failed to gain in 2006, we might now instead be looking at an opportunity to pickup liberty interested votes from the remains of the Democrats. There must be a few ten thousand of them anyway.

That’s all the good we could have gotten from the situation, and would have been good enough.

And for you to write:

“So, as usual, the Republican "carve out" is becoming "cave in".”

Shows you knew then or suspect now that there were no gains to be had in increasing the Democrats’ power in order to “punish” the Republicans.

If it’s usual, after all—-then this or some other thing like it will happen.

Thank you for the part you played in it.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
No you got what you wanted to within a negligible fraction...
No. We did not. And you pretending we did are just being flat disengenuous.

"Gridlock" has a particular meaning, and it doesn’t include passing new spending or taxation or much of anything else, thus the name.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Eliminating the cap on payroll taxes would constitute the largest tax increase in U.S. history, estimated by the Heritage Foundation during the last Congress at $1.4 trillion over 10 years
That’s pretty hilarious! What was the Heritage Foundation saying back when the largest tax increase (the SS payroll tax) was approved by Reagan?

Why, that he never did it of course.
Critics often add in the Social Security payroll tax and argue that the total federal tax burden shifted more to lower-income groups and away from upper-income groups; but President Reagan’s changes were in the income tax, not in the Social Security payroll tax.
The payroll tax was imposed by proponents of big government over the past 50 years, and it is they, not Ronald Reagan, who should be held accountable for its distributional effects.
http://www.heritage.org/Research/Taxes/BG1414.cfm



 
Written By: Davebo
URL: http://
"Gridlock" has a particular meaning, and it doesn’t include passing new spending or taxation or much of anything else, thus the name.
A distinction with so little a difference, you protest too much by far. Gridlock is when the two houses are occupied by different parties, and with Johnson’s illness, they may well be just that. In any case, with a 51/49 majority with many new conservative democrats and old liberal Republicans, the idea that the Republican Senate—had it been a Republican Senate of around 49/51 or so, would with any reliablity be a bastian of ideological fiscal restraint is absurd.

And I note you do not address any of my other points.

I presume you are not magnanimous enough to concede them.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
I presume you are not magnanimous enough to concede them.
A bit early for you to be asking for concession, being that what you think WILL happen has not yet happened.

If we get through the next couple of years without your fears being realized, will you be conceding the point?

Since none of your fears have been realized in legislation as of today, should I ask you to concede now?

 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
A bit early for you to be asking for concession, being that what you think WILL happen has not yet happened.

If we get through the next couple of years without your fears being realized, will you be conceding the point?
If the election of the Democrats ends up being a net positive thing—even better than them going even more ape$hit as they would have if they’d lost in 2006, sure.
Since none of your fears have been realized in legislation as of today, should I ask you to concede now?
Actually, just by writing...
"So, as usual, the Republican "carve out" is becoming "cave in"."
...McQ concedes the idea of punishing Republicans and causing them to revert to anti-spending obstructionism by making them a minority never made any sense.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
And I note you do not address any of my other points.
When you get the base premise wrong there are no other points.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
"So, as usual, the Republican "carve out" is becoming "cave in"."
...McQ concedes the idea of punishing Republicans and causing them to revert to anti-spending obstructionism by making them a minority never made any sense.
With a Republican majority, the party raised YOUR taxes precipitously, you have to know that. even if the marginal rate increase was not passed by the Republicans, they hiked your taxes because they spent your money far beyond the amount your present tax rate allowed. So even if spending is brought in line with revenues, you are STILL going have to foot a larger bill just to cover debt service and repayment.

Republicans folded like lawn chairs when presented with an opportunity to show fiscal responsibility.

A divided government, can and may result in each side thwarting the other’s spending desires. In the case of the current government, it may be Bush vetoes of Democrat spending. The problem is that we know that we know Bush doesn’t have a fiscally conservative bone in his body and will spend any amount of money on anything, if he gets something he wants somewhere else. That being the case, we are going to have to rely on the Democrats reluctance to give to get, which I’ll admit is not encouraging. But it’s not done yet.

Regardless, the acknowledging the Republicans caving is not a concession that gridlock is failing, it is simply a statement of fact before the election and after the election.

Republicans may need a little time to remember two things, their own principals, and how to be an effective minority.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
When you get the base premise wrong there are no other points.
My basic premise is not wrong. You were a fool to think that the Republicans who when in the majority increased spending would neccessarily or to an ameliorative degree be fiscal conservatives so as to offset the increase in spending that an increase in the number of Democrats (to a majority) would bring about.

You were a fool to think there was enough assurance that the Democrats would take only the House that speaking of the benefits of gridlock and punishing Republicans was anything but folly.

You failed to see the main chance lay in driving the Democrats into the dust by striving (hopefully succesfully) to hold their gains in 2006 to a minimum short of a majority.

Even if this effort of the Democrats fails, some will succeed and you as much as acknowledge this in writing:
"So, as usual, the Republican "carve out" is becoming "cave in"."
If it is usual, what does that mean?

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Captain ignore the positive aspects of tax cuts in writing:
With a Republican majority, the party raised YOUR taxes precipitously, you have to know that. even if the marginal rate increase was not passed by the Republicans, they hiked your taxes because they spent your money far beyond the amount your present tax rate allowed.
You assume too much. If the decrease in taxes that I and others pay in an earlier year grows the economy such that the amount owed with interest is a smaller fraction of the total economy when the debt is due, then a tax cut is a tax cut even if it increases the debt.

For what you say to be other than mere hope on your part, you must demonstrate that growth will not occur faster than interest on the debt accumulates.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
You assume too much. If the decrease in taxes that I and others pay in an earlier year grows the economy such that the amount owed with interest is a smaller fraction of the total economy when the debt is due, then a tax cut is a tax cut even if it increases the debt.
If the decrease in taxes that I and others pay in an earlier year grows the economy
If the decrease in taxes
If
IF, IF, IF

There is no historical empirical evidence that tax cuts do in fact grow the economy.

The Laffer curve is half baked, it’s logic is undeniable, but the point at which taxation stagnates growth is anyone’s guess. We know that 100% taxation would retard growth, and we know that 0% would not, but at what point delineates the differential between those marks, no one has provided a sound argument.

We have had tax cuts and impressive growth, we have had tax increases and impressive growth, and mediocre growth correlated to both as well.

You take it as religious belief that tax cuts stimulate growth, I don’t.

On the other hand, it is empirically true that more debt requires more debt service and that costs more than less debt, and what the Republicans gave us is more debt, which we will have foot the bill for. The fact is that Republicans didn’t have the restraint to stop spending and didn’t have the cajones to ask you pay for their increased spending.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
On balance, it’s starting to look like Clinton’s domestic record was better. He signed welfare reform and crop subsidy reform, for example, and created no new large-scale programs.
But only because the Rs owned the House . . .

And, he signed the AWB, Brady, and tons of evil EOs. If you only look at the Legislative record and ignore the EOs, and ignore gun control, and Clinton looks good domestically. But I can’t ignore the EOs or the gun control.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
The Laffer curve is half baked, it’s logic is undeniable, but the point at which taxation stagnates growth is anyone’s guess. We know that 100% taxation would retard growth, and we know that 0% would not, but at what point delineates the differential between those marks, no one has provided a sound argument.
Any taxation retards growth. 100% taxation eliminates growth, unless that growth is in the black market.
We have had tax cuts and impressive growth, we have had tax increases and impressive growth, and mediocre growth correlated to both as well.
That’s because taxes are not the only thing effecting the market. Duh.

Taxes are always bad for growth, but they are not the only factor.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
You were a fool to think that the Republicans who when in the majority increased spending would neccessarily or to an ameliorative degree be fiscal conservatives so as to offset the increase in spending that an increase in the number of Democrats (to a majority) would bring about.
Yeah, McQ. Take Tom’s word for it.
You were a fool to trust the Republicans.

You should’ve wanted the same guys that "who when in the majority increased spending" and that "would neccessarily or to an ameliorative degree be fiscal conservatives" to remain in power.

You fool.
This is all your fault.

Nice going, man. (crap)
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://ceilidhcowboy.typepad.com/
ignore gun control
Gun control is dead. There is little support among Democrats, and little support among the general electorate for gun control.

The Assault Rifle Ban and Brady Act precipitated the Republican takeover in 1994 and Democrats may not be geniuses, but they have run away from gun control.

And these laws were passed before the divided government that helped make Clinton look so good politically (and bad with the witchhunt).

As for the EO’s, just like every President that has come before, EO’s are as good as the next President wants them be.

Cap



 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Taxes are always bad for growth, but they are not the only factor.


This is false statement.

Taxes allow the existence and the protection of the systemic infrastructure that allows an organized economy to exist at all, without taxes, there is no protection, there is no organized economy, there is anarchy, there is no growth.

Again, we come to how much is too much, how much is too little, and at what point does taxation impede growth. The answer is not known.

I am not saying that I do not think we are overtaxed, I believe we are, but not because it stifles economic growth. I say this because there is simply no empirical evidence that tax cuts stimulate growth. I tend to think they do, at least in the short run, but I am CERTAIN that increased debt harms growth in the long run.

In the face of theoretical possibility and an empirical certainty, I think it is ridiculous to accept the theoreticalt possibility and ignore the empirical certainty, whcih is precisely what you are doing.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Gun control is dead. There is little support among Democrats,
No, not here in California. And quite a few Democrats voted to continue the AWB in 2004. Safe Democrats continue to support gun control.
As for the EO’s, just like every President that has come before, EO’s are as good as the next President wants them be.
No, Clinton’s were particularly bad, perhaps because that was the only domestic policy he had control over.
This is false statement.

Taxes allow the existence and the protection of the systemic infrastructure that allows an organized economy to exist at all, without taxes, there is no protection, there is no organized economy, there is anarchy, there is no growth.
No, taxes are always bad. Perhaps some $$$ is spent on good or necessary things, but the tax itself is always bad. You might be correct that there is a net economic benifit to some taxation when the resulting spending is considered, but the taxation aspect by itself is a negative.

The early American Republic showed that very low taxes could support a strong economy. We are taxed way beyond any benifit to the economy.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
I say this because there is simply no empirical evidence that tax cuts stimulate growth. I tend to think they do, at least in the short run, but I am CERTAIN that increased debt harms growth in the long run.
Increased debt = future tax.

If you are CERTAIN that increased debt harms growth then you are CERTAIN that increased future taxes harms growth. Yet you are not CERTAIN that increased current taxes harms growth!?

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
All this "inside baseball" among those who are ostensibly on the right is idiotic. Tom, it’s a case of "you’re right but so what". Anyone on the right who voted to "punish the GOP" owns what happens next. (And the GOP will damn well own what happens next if they don’t get their ah*t together)

But it’s a case of "so what" because the future elections won’t be decided by regaining those voters who sought to punish- indeed, it’s a good probability that they will come back to the GOP by virtue of the Dems actions. The operative phrase here is to let the Dems be Dems. When they happens, the GOP will win again when those swing voters tilt again this way, because they’ll get sick of higher taxes and whatever else the Dem agenda holds.

And just hope that the damage they do to the nation is easily reversable.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
"Mitch McConnell, in his talk with bloggers, and in his address to the Senate on the opening day of Congress said tax increases are non-negotiable."

We are talking about Republicans here, so does this mean that tax increases are out of the question so don’t wast time negotiating, or does it mean that tax increases are assumed, and thus do not need to be negotiated.

*****************************************

When I think of something like "gridlock", I envision something like an irresistable force meeting an immovable object, and I don’t envision the Republican party as either of those.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Increased debt = future tax.

If you are CERTAIN that increased debt harms growth then you are CERTAIN that increased future taxes harms growth. Yet you are not CERTAIN that increased current taxes harms growth!?
Taxes for current expenditures have some stimulus affect of their own, in the expenditures of course, not the taxes themselves. Run through logically in your head...

Say your economy includes $2T in tax revenues, and you spend that on payroll to current government employees, entitlement programs, earmarks, defense, and the like, plus a small amount of debt service.

Now reverse this and have debt service for previous expenditures as the bulk of government spending, even the beneficial elements of taxation disappear and all you have is the negative.

You folks will twist yourselves into pretzels trying to defend this ridiculous deficit spending that most of you claim to abhor.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Lets cut the nonsense and discuss the true nature of social security.

1) It is a regressive wage tax designed to do target only upper middle class wage earners.

2) It is designed to transfer wealth from upper middle class wages earners to the lower class elderly and to the disabled, including large numbers who pretend to be disabled to avoid the necessity of work.

3) The SS tax is designed to almost completely exempt upper class incomes from these huge wealth transfers.

4) It is also a tax schme designed to extract wealth from ONLY the upper middle class in order fund massive government pork while simultneously cutting income taxes for the very wealthy.

5) SS is a vey very good deal for low wage earners and even much much better deal for the very wealthy.

Now lets discuss the true nature of "SS reform"

1) "SS reform" is designed to make sure that the SS treasury bonds, paid for in large by the upper middle class, are NEVER redeemed to pay back even the paltry benefits that were promised to the upper middle class who paid excessively for them.

2) After SS is "reformed" it will be an even better deal for the wealthy and a much much much bigger screwing of the midddle class.

How will SS reform "work"

1) It is intended to cause an early breakage of the SS system’s ability to pay promised benefits, thereby allowing politicians the cover to "fix it" by lowering further the very very paltry payback to the upper middle class retirees who funded it and its stolen surpluses for all of their working lives.

 
Written By: Bruce Frykman
URL: http://
Continued.....

I believe Mr Novak is correct. Higher SS Taxes are on the way and they will raise the cap on SS taxes to hopefully tax all work derived income instead of only the first $94,000 (current cap).

This is a good thing. There is no system of tax justice that should continue to exempt upper class wage incomes from this wealth transfer scheme.

To "reform SS" all we need to do to add one more tier of "benifits" so the upper class may "enjoy" the benefits we have been enduring since SS was created.

Tier 1 currently replaces 90 percent of a low wage earners income at retirement. Tier 1 wokers cannot fund their own retirment benefits so the shortfalls are made up by wealth transfers from Tier 3 income workers

Tier 2 income currently replaces 30 percent of a lower middle class wage earners working income. This is currently close to revenue neutral.

Tier 3 currently replaces 15% of a upper middle class workers working income (up to $94,000) with all the excess taxes collected used to fund the Tier I low wage earner’s retirement.

What we need now is a Tier 4 "benefit" that taxes all work derived income and will cover up to 5% of ALL of an upper class workers retirement income. This Tier 4 difference between the 12.5% wage taxes paid on ALL income over a lifetime of work and the 5% replacment benefit derived during the retirment years will Keep SS healthy forever.

Admittidly this is almost as bad a deal for the upper class as thay have subjecting the middle class to since SS began.

Come on in CEOs, the waters are just fine.

 
Written By: Bruce Frykman
URL: http://

 
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