Obama's tax 'holiday' undercuts the long-term viability of Social Security

Social Security can indeed be fixed. One major step would be to simply restore the FICA tax (a.k.a. the payroll tax) to its historical 6.2 percent rate ("Social Security can be fixed," April 26).

The Obama administration, with the help of compliant Republicans in the House of Representatives, reduced the FICA tax at the beginning of 2011 to 4.2 percent. That is a 32 percent cut in money coming into the Social Security program. Does the American public not understand that the dollars collected in FICA taxes are used to pay current Social Security benefits?

So it was hardly surprising to learn this week that funding for Social Security will run out in 2033 — three years earlier than expected. Having deliberately reduced incoming FICA revenues by billions of dollars per year, it was obvious Social Security would run out of money more quickly.

I am astounded you did not mention the FICA tax "holiday" in your recent editorial. I assume your editorial didn't talk about this "elephant in the living room" in order to protect President Obama in an election year.

Equally astounding is the fact that Republicans haven't seized upon this issue to proclaim themselves the defenders of a sound Social Security program.

Social Security was "basically sound" (to use your words), but it won't be for long if we continue with the 4.2 percent FICA tax.

John Hutton, Towson

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