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Hiltzik wrong on Social Security

February 22, 2009

Re: Michael Hiltzik's business column "Social Security isn't broken; don't 'fix' it," Feb. 12:

Hiltzik spends far too much time arguing that the recent stock market crash should stop all calls to fix Social Security. In fact, privatization is only a small issue in fixing the system. The real fix that needs to be made is to bring outflow, mostly retirement benefits, in line with income, mostly taxes.

Hiltzik says the program is "solid and reliable." He should refrain from presenting opinions as facts. A system that has a deficit measured in dozens of trillions of dollars doesn't seem solid and reliable to me.

Bob Gabriel

Arroyo Grande


Excellent column. My response, though, is: Why have a ceiling on the earnings for the Social Security payroll tax at all? I've never understood that.

If I'm making more money, I'm less likely to notice the tax. If anything, Social Security needs a floor (i.e., a bottom payroll level) below which one shouldn't be required to pay in.

Liz White

Los Angeles

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