GOP Plan Offers Cash Bait to Forgo Social Security
If this new Republican idea weren’t so scary, we would be laughing…hysterically.
Asreported by the Washington Post 2chambers blog yesterday, Rep. Jeffrey Landry (R-La.) is proposing that working Americans—already battered bloody by the recession—be forced to give up some of their Social Security benefits if they “opt in” to receive a payroll tax cut. (So much for the Republican mantra that tax cuts pay for themselves.)
Landry’s idea, introduced as H.R. 3551, would cut the payroll tax rate from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent—and allow workers to decide each year whether to receive the tax break.
The catch? Workers who chose to take advantage of the tax break in a given year would be forced to have their Social Security retirement age extended by one month, effectively cutting their own retirement benefits. Really?
It sure seems like a strange flip-side of oft-repeated GOP plans for a privatized Social Security system, where we would exchange our guaranteed retirement income for a chance to gamble in the stock market. Privatization would be a risky gamble for ordinary workers but one that may make sense for the wealthy 1 percent, whose Social Security is only a tiny slice of their retirement pie.
Landry’s plan flips this concept by cynically encouraging cash-starved workers to trade their own Social Security benefits for a quick and temporary cash infusion. Might this be a small but significant step toward ending Social Security—not by passing privatization legislation, but by enticing workers to give it up themselves?
By Monday night, Landry’s bill had a whopping two co-sponsors.