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Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:42 PM

The GOP road is a wrong turn for Democratic Party No deal is better!

Because many elderly retirees and people on Social Security disability must spend far more than average on medical co-pays for doctor's visits, prescription drugs, home health care and hospitalization etc than the average consumer, and there is no viable option to forego the majority of those costs in favor of cheaper products, chained CPI is not "strengthening the program" it is sentencing the program to the death of a thousand cuts.

We could extend social security solvency by a number of years simply by raising the cap on income subject to payroll taxes, even if we leave the existing rate and formula for calculating benefits intact and without reducing benefits, future COLA or raising the retirement age at all. If we place a cap instead on the maximum monthly retirement and disability benefit at present levels with COLA's calculated as they are at present, and eliminate the cap on income subject to payroll taxes, the social security trust fund would be solvent for the next 75+ years and we could actually reduce the payroll tax rate by about 2 percentage points. Finally, if we simply raised the payroll tax rate for the social security portion of those taxes by 2 percentage points, we could insure social security would be solvent for at least the next 50 years. Any of those options would be "strengthening the program."

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