Monday, February 04, 2008

Social Security: the Democrats' all-purpose cudgel

If you thought that America's favorite entitlement program was just something that Democrats used to attack only Republicans, welcome to the Clinton campaign. From the Boston Globe: "Obama, Clinton clash over Social Security, health care, electability"

In the Democratic race, the Obama team - accused last week by the Clinton campaign of distributing a misleading mailer about Clinton's healthcare proposal - shot back at the New York senator's campaign, accosting the Clinton camp for a mailer sent to Massachusetts households that claims Obama would raise taxes by a trillion dollars.

That's nearly one-third of the size of the federal budget, and a charge that Representative William Delahunt of Massachusetts called "absurd."

"My first reaction was, 'Someone's joking,' " Delahunt, who has endorsed Obama, said in a conference call with reporters. "It tells me that there is panic inside the Clinton campaign."

The trillion-dollar figure is based on Obama's proposal to lift the cap, though not entirely, on the amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax. Currently, only earnings up to $97,500 a year are subject to the FICA tax, meaning people earning $30,000 a year pay a higher Social Security tax rate than people earning many millions of dollars a year.

But the Clinton campaign's mailer said Obama "wants to raise Social Security taxes by a trillion dollars." Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said outside analysts have backed up the trillion-dollar figure.
It's de-licious, it's de-lightful, it's de-magogic.

No comments: