Los Angeles Times

Payroll tax cut will put a burden on future generations

The so-called Congressional supercommittee was never about finances; it was always about political maneuvering, just as the "payroll tax cut" isn't about fixing the economy but might be more properly be called the "kick-the-can-down-the-road" cut.

First, Social Security taxes are not included in the national budget. So, reducing such revenues will have no effect on current-year deficits.

What the "payroll tax cut" will do is reduce the amount of Social Security revenue that can be borrowed by Congress to spend. That's not necessarily a bad result.

But what the payroll tax cut also does is kick the can down the road, in the sense that future taxpayers will have to make up the revenues that are being lost today with new revenues in the future.

Since Social Security retirement benefit levels are based on workers' earnings, not their contributions, their future benefits won't be reduced even though the current revenues needed to fund them are.

This is another example of near-term political gain paid for with future pain. Burdening future generations with our mismanagement is an egregious failure of our responsibilities.

Warren Updike, Towson

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
  • Unemployment is worse than Obama administration claims

    The Obama administration and the liberal news media continues to keeps up their line that the unemployment rate is between 8 percent 9 percent. Don't believe it, as nothing could be further from the truth. The real unemployment rate ranges close to 15 percent or 16 percent because of the Obama's...

  • Help for the unemployed?

    Help for the unemployed?

    Our view: Renewal of unemployment benefits, largely overlooked in Congress' debate over extending the payroll tax cut, comes with a hefty price

  • Timid Democrats and radical Republicans: A dangerous combination

    Your article, "New budget to renew battles" (Feb. 12) points out the stark and perhaps unprecedented separation between our two major political parties. Democrats continue to display timidity and confusion and are often too ready to compromise, but they have generally proposed balanced approaches...

  • Taxing stock gains would hit middle class, too

    Not just the 1 percent invest in stocks. The Democrats would have you believe that the middle class don't get any income from the stocks, so we should double the tax rate on income derived from the stock market. Where exactly do they expect the "middle class" to put their money? Saving to put kids...

  • Obama's plan to raise capital gains taxes will drive investment offshore

    In his State of the Union Address, President Obama barely touched on the country's soon-to-be $16 trillion national debt, massive joblessness, entitlement insolvency, economy-crippling government regulations and the other compelling issues ("Obama targets economy, taxes in address," Jan. 25).

  • What has 30 years of Reaganomics brought us?

    Thank you Dan Rodricks for your insightful commentary ("A man out of tune with the times," Jan. 23). It was a perfect review of Reaganomics 30 years later. A world of huge disparity, where those who became rich by living in this great country don't want to pay their fair share. Shame on them.

  • Creating an economy 'built to last'

    Creating an economy 'built to last'

    President calls for tax changes to bring jobs home, all-of-the-above energy strategy and a 'reemployment' system

  • A level playing field for jobs

    A level playing field for jobs

    Peter Morici says U.S. priorities for boosting employment should be fair trade policies, aggressive energy development