- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 1, 2011

I suppose nothing that comes out of Washington should be considered remarkable in today’s warped and bizarre political climate, yet I must cite with some degree of incredulity the proposals that are currently being floated to reduce the payroll tax that finances the Social Security system (“Obama pushes for extension of payroll-tax cut,” Web, Wednesday).

The most grandiose of these is the scheme proposed by Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr., Pennsylvania Democrat, who urges President Obama to expand the reduction of 2 percent in 2011 to 3.1 percent in 2012, in effect, slashing the 6.2 percent levy in half. I like tax cuts as much as anyone, and I have enjoyed the 2011 “bonus,” but this is not reality.

Mr. Casey would be the first to tell us that he supports the tenets of AARP, which are that there must be no cuts or revisions to the Social Security program. How, then, do we continue to finance an entitlement that even at the 6.2 percent tax levy will not have enough money to pay promised benefits in the future?

Mr. Casey and others who propose payroll-tax cuts should be required to tell us how the cuts will be financed and to what extent future Social Security benefits will be compromised by virtue of living for today. If there is a painless way for the American people to receive a visit from the candyman, I will gladly accept what Mr. Casey is offering. If not, then slashing the payroll tax is a disastrous idea.

OREN M. SPIEGLER

Upper St. Clair, Pa.