The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

October 24, 2012

Our View: Too little, too late


The Joplin Globe

— Two years ago Social Security taxes were lowered by 2 percent, which resulted in an increase of about $1,000 a year in the average paycheck.

Now it seems that Congress is poised to delete that tax decrease and return Social Security withholdings to the former level.

Of course neither presidential candidate nor their respective political parties will make a public pronouncement whether such a tax “hike” (or rescinding an earlier tax cut) is the correct legislation to enact now.

All involved will wait until after the election to make their views known on such a matter.

Anyone paying attention to national fiscal matters knows full well that the long-term costs of both Social Security and Medicare are becoming far too expensive to sustain either program as we know it today.

Remember if you will that the purpose of the Social Security withholding reduction two years ago was to increase consumption in the private sector to increase the growth of our gross domestic product. But the growth in the GDP has decreased in that same two-year period.

On the other hand, such a tax “cut” amounting to about $1,000 per year is a very popular one today, even though it increases the vulnerability of the Social Security system.

That political dilemma once again demonstrates how wise governance isn’t always popular with voters.

In case you are wondering, it is our position that the original tax cut was too little, too late to make a difference, and Social Security funding should be returned to its previous legislative level now.