First from Ramesh Ponnuru on the Corner:
Obama would continue to leave wages between $102,000 and $250,000 untaxed -but levy a tax on wages above $250,000. He has not, however, specified what rate those high-end wages would be taxed at or whether people would earn higher benefits for making higher payments, among other things.And here's Donald Luskin in Opinion Journal:
Throughout the history of the Social Security program, there has always been a connection between what you contribute in taxes and what you get back in benefits. If Mr. Obama uncaps the wages subject to tax, but doesn't uncap benefits, then he has severed the link between them. Social Security would stand revealed not as a work-related contributory retirement system, but simply as a tax-funded welfare and income-redistribution program.As Luskin points out, even if Obama plans to boost benefits for those paying above the $250,000 cap, Social Security actuaries estimate this would only close about one-third of the program's long-term shortfall. Look, none of these plans is perfect and John McCain hasn't made much movement on his proposal, if one exists. But the fundamental problem with Obama's approach is that he needs to decide whether Social Security will maintain its traditional role as a "universal" program available to all, or whether it will head down the slope towards another system of income redistribution.