Any reichwingers out there complaining their commander-in-theif about flip flopping on social security and new taxes yet? Doubt it, but they should. More to come, no doubt.
Slice from the LA times:
By Peter Wallsten and Joel Havemann, Times Staff Writers
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — In an important shift from his hard-line stance against tax increases, President Bush has said he is open to raising taxes on wealthier Americans to cover the costs of transforming Social Security.
Bush has been promoting a plan to let workers under age 55 divert a portion of their Social Security payroll taxes into private investment accounts. But he has not settled on how to replace that diverted money — an estimated $1 trillion or more over a decade that would be needed to pay benefits to current retirees.
The president, in an interview published Wednesday in several regional newspapers, left the door open to the idea of raising the cap on wages subject to the Social Security tax as a way to help cover the transition costs of private accounts. Earnings above $90,000 are not subject to tax now.
Read my lips...no wait, that was another Bush....can we say, flip flopping like the proverbial dolphin caught in a tuna net.
...and reading further, you get a real sense of what's behind the Wizard's curtain when Greenspan comes out thusly:
More slice from he same article:
As did Bush's comments, Greenspan's testimony to the Senate Banking Committee generated debate among those following the president's Social Security initiative.
The Fed chairman is so esteemed as the overseer of the nation's economic well-being that private account supporters and opponents alike regard his stance as crucial to their success.
Greenspan said private accounts by themselves would do nothing to erase the $3.7-trillion shortfall that is estimated over the next 75 years between Social Security's promised benefits and its income from the payroll tax.
Congress must come to grips with that funding gap, he said, regardless of what it decides to do about private accounts.
Greenspan said the ultimate test of a Social Security rescue package was whether it increased national savings. Only with the investment from more saving, he said, could the United States hope to support its growing army of retired people without a sharp decline in the standards of living of all age brackets.
Creating private accounts through more federal borrowing, Greenspan said, would be a wash, with each dollar saved in a private account offset by a dollar borrowed from the public. "Moving to a forced savings account technically does not materially affect net national savings," he said. "It merely moves savings from the government account to a private account."
Huh? No means to erase the 3.7 trillion short fall? WTF, that doesn't sound like it is worth the effort, unless of course, you are a professional money manager and you make cash for every trade, whether your client (read, social security beneficiary) wins or looses on the action. See drooling capitialists posts of a few days ago.