The Chicago Tribune published an editorial this morning against continuing the payroll tax cuts. The link is here:
The piece notes that this gift to taxpayers will bankrupt Social Security sooner and reduce the time until the debt limit is exceeded.
Furthermore, I feel that by not fully funding Social Security, it is changing the contract with the American people from a benefit to an entitlement. We pay for this benefit through the FICA tax withheld on every paycheck. This fund is supposed to be self-sustaining and apart from the federal income tax system. It is likened to a forced retirement savings account. In this way it is a benefit that is especially helpful to the lower and middle classes.
The language coming from the Democrats is that we need to pay for this tax cut by requiring the rich to pay more. The Republicans would like to introduce some form of means testing that would reduce or eliminate Social Security payments to higher-income seniors. Either way, it changes Social Security to an entitlement either by dissociation of the tax from the funding pool, or by requiring some income metric to receive the benefit. It ends up further bending America towards an entitlement society. Just ask the European Union how well that works.