Gene Sperling had on op-ed piece in Sunday's Washington Post offering an alternative to the Bush Tax cut that Democrats would probably be well-advised to adopt. Democrats taking any position is a good thing in a democracy.
But I do have to take issue with one of Sperling's statements as either: A) a scare the old-folks tactic, or B) evidence of a basic misunderstanding of our tax system. Sperling is knowledgeable enough so that it's not the latter, so it must be the former.
Before any Democrat -- or moderate Republican -- makes the political calculation to just go along with making every element of the Bush tax cut permanent, he or she should understand how even the most modest tweaking of the tax cut for high earners could make a crucial difference for national savings, homeland security, Social Security and our ability to address the country's most compelling challenges in education, health and poverty. [emphasis added]
Social Security is funded by the payroll tax. The Bush tax cut had no impact on the payroll tax.