Social Security Jujitsu

Democrats and a few sane Republicans have held the line on Bush’s foolhardy, venal Social Security privatization scam and for one of the few times ever El Presidente is making noises about compromising. That he would even make overtures to suggesting a tax increase to pay for his disastrous scheme proves that Bush is already on Plan C.

It’s time for the Democratic Party to go on the offensive and be for something. Now that Bush has put raising taxes on the wealthy to pay for his gambit on the table Democrats should expand on the idea and propose a progressive Social Security deduction to replace the current regressive system and raise enough money to insure the program’s long term stability.

Currently, every worker gets 6.2% of the money they earn up to $90,000 taken from their paychecks and put into the Social Security system. After $90,000 no additional money is paid. This system should be changed so that zero percent of wages up to $20,000 are deducted for Social Security, and then just 1% for dollars 20,000 through 29,999 and the 2% for dollars 30,000 through 39,999 and so on until 6.2% of dollars 90,000 and above to infinity are deduced for Social Security.

Here’s the kicker: if enough money is raised through this system it may be possible to give workers some “house money” in ADDITION to their Social Security benefit to invest as they see fit. In this way private accounts will be a new supplement to the Social Security benefit, not a rejiggering of it. If the stock market crashes, plain ‘ole Social Security will still be there to prevent the elderly from becoming destitute just as FDR intended. Meanwhile, the poor and middle class will have a tax cut and private accounts will be created without further ballooning the deficit. The only ones who will have to pay more are the economic elite. If an “ownership society” is what they truly crave than they should be perfectly willing to do so.