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Sunday, March 06, 2005

Omigod I disagree not only with Josh Marshall but also with Atrios and Max Sawicky.

Never expected that to happen. Atrios writes "Doing something like increasing the income cap may be a good idea if we assume we're in a universe with responsible lawmakers. But, since we're not[,] increasing the income cap just increases the amount of tax revenue being paid by not-very-upper-middle classish people and helps relieve pressure to roll back tax cuts on the very rich."

Now I am wildly enthusiastic about increasing the income cap, even if I have to disagree with Marshall. I have been for years as I wrote here, here, here, and here and given how shamelessly I self link I mention semi relevant posts here and here too. More to the point, most Americans are enthusiastic too and the question "why not just eliminate the cap"drives privateers to tie themselves into especially contorted verbal knots.

Finally just Bush's mentioning of a possibility of maybe raising the cap caused a major spat within the Republican party and within the conservative movement.

I definitely think the Democrats should present one of two plans. I think it would be excellent policy and excellent politics to propose, as the only change, the elimination of the cap . This should make the social security trust fund solvent for the forecasted future. Republicans like congressman Chocula can argue that the trust fund is untrustworthy because you can't trust *them* not to raid it. My guess is voters might decide to vote for congresspeople who at least don't openly declare their intention to welsh.

I think it would be even better policy and even better politics to propose replacing FICA with a flat payroll tax at a slightly reduced rate, thereby obtaining solvency while cutting the taxes of everyone who makes less than $90,000.

Obviously I am not advocating an effort to find a compromise. I think the absolute fraudulence of the Republicans' claim that they are trying to strengthen social security leaves them wide open to a counter proposal to, well, strengthen social security. Obviously the trust fund will not be safe so long as they are in power. However, I think the best way to get them out of power is to have Republicans running around screaming class war, while Democrats explain to the vast majority of Americans how painless (or pleasant) the solution to the shortfall could be for them.

To be actually a bit critical, Atrios, seems to have adopted the Republicans fiscal Leninism. Choose your poison. The deficit is bad and the worse it is the better it is, because then people will raise taxes on the super rich(cut government spending). He also seems to have accepted the idea that people who make over $90,000 are middle class.

I think that it is not enough to hold the keep. It is time for a sortie.

"Ride out with me"
"For death and Glory?"
"No for Rohan's social welfare system"

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