Friday, May 12, 2017

“The Democrats’ Social Security Plan Means Much Higher Taxes”

I have a new piece in the Wall Street Journal looking at the Social Security 2100 Act, authored by Rep. John Larson (D-MN) but co-sponsored by 83% of House Democrats. That’s much more consensus than any reform plan had during the GOP heyday of personal accounts. But is the plan any good?

The article is still behind the Journal’s paywall, but I believe non-subscribers can access the full article at the Journal’s Twitter account.

Social Security may be the “third rail” of U.S. politics, but congressional Democrats are suddenly eager to risk touching it. Over a remarkably short time they have embraced an ambitious but flawed policy of expanding the program’s benefits via tax increases on all workers, including doubling payroll taxes on high earners.

Since its release on April 5, Rep. John Larson’s Social Security 2100 Act has accrued 160 co-sponsors, more than any other reform proposal in recent history. With support from 80% of House Democrats, Mr. Larson’s legislation can fairly be called the Democrats’ Social Security plan.

Democrats have always been reluctant to cut Social Security benefits, favoring tax increases to fix the troubled program’s long-term deficit of more than $10 trillion. But today’s Democrats have gone further, embracing an expanded Social Security program to address what they claim is inadequate retirement saving outside the government-run system.

For subscribers, the full article is available here.

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