Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Politics makes strange bedfellows

Well, I should have searched around before I posted below.  Here's Bernie Sanders (Socialist-VT) joining hands with the Tea Party:
Bipartisan concerns that extending the payroll-tax cut would weaken Social Security are spilling into the open, complicating the effort to allow the tax break for workers to continue into 2012.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), a leading liberal voice, last week voted against a Democratic bill to extend the tax cut. That put him in line with Sens. Jon Kyl of Arizona, the No. 2 Senate Republican, and Sen. Jerry Moran (R., Kan.), a member of the tea-party caucus.
"If you do it for two years, you know what it's probably going to be harder to break that habit in the third year," Mr. Sanders said, adding, "in which case you've got a permanent process by which you've cut the payroll tax and diverted huge sums of money."
And from NPR: "How payroll tax cut affects Social Security's future"
Charles Blahous, whom Obama appointed last year to be one of the six trustees of Social Security and Medicare, thinks it's a far greater danger than most people anticipate. He too says the payroll tax break might be harming Social Security's long-term solvency.
"I mean, I'm a Republican and I'm a conservative, and if you were to ask me at a first approximation, do I want lower taxes or higher taxes, then obviously I want lower taxes," Blahous says. "The problem here is that I'm also a public Social Security trustee, and so I'm honor-bound to identify when this causes a change or a difficulty for the Social Security program, which it does."
And here's Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Some lawmakers do say the tax break is worrisome, including Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse.
"I think one more year should be about the limit," Whitehouse says, "because of the nature of Social Security."
Enough to get us past the next election.

1 comment:

ruralcounsel said...

Bernie is nothing if not solicitous of his gentrifying constituency. Don't attribute it to any real concern about our fiscal health though.