Thanks to Paul Krugman for pointing us to this article in the New York Times, which details the Deficit Commission proposal. There’s enough confusion sewn into the proposal (oh look, bright shiny cuts to the military budget!) to make your head spin.
The obfuscation about Social Security follows the rest of the proposal. I’m including the entire Social Security proposal below, but only the bolded sentence matters. The rest is distraction-candy for the rubes:
The plan would reduce Social Security benefits to most future retirees — low-income people would get a higher benefit — and it would subject higher levels of income to payroll taxes to ensure Social Security’s solvency for at least the next 75 years.
You could do the whole thing by subjecting “higher levels of income to payroll taxes,” but our Betters have better plans for your money — their own pockets.
The meat of the plan — and all you need to know — is below (my emphasis):
The proposed simplification of the tax code would repeal or modify a number of popular tax breaks — including the deductibility of mortgage interest payments — so that income tax rates could be reduced across the board. Under the plan, individual income tax rates would decline to … 23 percent on the highest bracket (now 35 percent). The corporate tax rate, now 35 percent, would also be reduced, to as low as 26 percent.
“From your pocket to mine, sucker.” Say that five times fast. Now repeat why you vote Democratic. (Hint: It’s because the Republicans would do bad things … sucker.)
The source is a leaked or pre-released “draft proposal.” Color that official. Krugman is disgusted:
OK, let’s say goodbye to the deficit commission. If you’re sincerely worried about the US fiscal future — and there’s good reason to be — you don’t propose a plan that involves large cuts in income taxes. Even if those cuts are offset by supposed elimination of tax breaks elsewhere, balancing the budget is hard enough without giving out a lot of goodies [that] would go largely to the very affluent. … Oh, and they’re talking about raising the retirement age, because people live longer — except that the people who really depend on Social Security, those in the bottom half of the distribution, aren’t living much longer. So you’re going to tell janitors to work until they’re 70 because lawyers are living longer than ever.
Let the Lame Duck quacking begin. And then let’s see who gets elected in 2012. Color me ready. Sucker.