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 © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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