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Readers Respond

Tax cut makes Social Security problem worse

In a recent article, a well-regarded economist states that the Social Security Administration has projected that it will collect $46 billion less in cash (i.e. FICA taxes) than it will pay out in retirement and disability benefits in fiscal year 2011. However, Social Security's revenue includes $105 billion it will get from the U.S. Treasury to cover the cost of reducing the Social Security tax on employees' wages from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent — the so-called "two percent tax holiday."

Instead of borrowing a mere $46 billion to cover the cash deficit, the treasury must borrow an additional $105 billion to pay benefits. Where was the outcry from the tea party movement about intentionally digging the deficit hole even deeper? Where was the outcry from anybody for that matter? This is not a "structural" shortfall. This was intentional.

Anyone who supported the FICA "tax holiday" and yet says he or she wants to "save Social Security" is simply not telling the truth.

John Hutton, Towson

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