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What Is Senator Reid's Solution For Social Security?

Social Security clearly faces problems down the road. Call it a crisis. Call it a looming crisis. Call it insolvency.

Call it whatever you like, but there is no getting around Social Security's problems.

Democrats are opposing President Bush on his reform efforts.

So what is their alternative? Where are their solutions?

What would Harry Reid do to fix Social Security?


Michael Tanner has the answer: Harry Reid has no plan for fixing Social Security.

Senator Reid used to understand the power of markets. Back in 1999, he said, "Most of us have no problem taking a small amount of the Social Security proceeds and putting it into the private sector." Of course, we had a different president then, one from the Senate minority leader's own party.

As that former president — Bill Clinton — pointed out, there are really only three options for Social Security reform: raise taxes, cut benefits, or invest privately. As Reid has ruled out private investment, he could legitimately be accused of implicitly endorsing tax increases and/or benefit cuts.

And mighty big tax increases they would have to be; a 50 percent increase in the payroll tax or the equivalent. It would be a tax increase far higher than what Senator Reid would "save" by rolling back parts of Bush's tax cuts — even if he hadn't already promised to use those savings to fund other government spending. And, contrary to the senator's promises, a payroll tax increase is a tax hike that would fall like a piano onto workers earning less than $200,000 per year.

The benefit cuts would be no less draconian. Today's younger workers would face cuts of 27 percent in their benefits, severely diminishing their quality of life during their golden years....

Harry Reid needs to tell the American people what he plans to do about the looming Social Security crisis. If Reid plans to raise taxes to prop up Social Security, or cut benefits, he should tell us so. If he has another idea, he should share it with us.

But fearmongering is not a Social Security plan.

Come clean, Senator. What's your plan? Or are you still pretending there is no problem to address in the first place?

Posted by Will Franklin · 18 March 2005 12:48 PM