House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told The Daily Caller that the Social Security or “payroll” tax cut should not be “endless,” but that a year-long extension would not hurt the program as Social Security Trustee Charles Blahous has predicted.
Blahous, appointed by President Obama, said the payroll tax cut extension would be a “major step toward” moving Social Security from a benefit “earned” by “worker contributions” to “welfare,” since less money would be directly paid into Social Security from workers.
“One person may have said that,” Pelosi told TheDC during her weekly press briefing Thursday. “Others have said that a second year extension would not have an impact, in the regard that you explained, it would not hurt Social Security. I don’t think this should be endless, but I think one more year in an economy of this kind.”
TheDC also asked House Speaker John Boehner if he agrees with Blahous’ assessment.
“I do not agree with it,” Boehner told TheDC. “And I believe that offsetting the Social Security tax break for next year, offsetting it with reductions in spending that will be used to transfer to the Social Security Trust Fund, is a responsible way to proceed.”
Blahous told National Public Radio that “[t]his could be the beginning of the end of the idea that this is an earned benefit, [and] where benefits enjoy a certain amount of political protection because of a notion that they have been paid for in the past by the beneficiaries.”
Blahous also said that “[t]here’s no way to know where exactly the tipping point is, but it will come sooner than most observers now realize. Continuing and expanding this policy would likely soon turn bipartisan perceptions of Social Security into something more like welfare.”