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Social Security: With Doughnuts, Or Not At All

Saturday, March 12, 2005; Page A18

Having read Jonathan Weisman's Feb. 24 front-page article comparing proposals for shoring up the Social Security system, I suggest using a doughnut approach for subjecting wages to Social Security tax.

First enact a modest increase in the wages subject to Social Security tax, such as moving the ceiling from $90,000 to $105,000. Then declare all wages between $105,000 and $1 million to be exempt from Social Security tax, but begin taxing wages again at $1 million and above. This approach would alleviate the burden that the Social Security tax places on small businesses.

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Richard Cohen thinks that President Calvin Coolidge would not have approved of President Bush's Social Security plans ["Silent Cal's Lesson," op-ed, March 3].

He's probably right. It's unlikely that Coolidge, a champion of small government, would have approved of Social Security at all.



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