Rep. Bill Archer (R-Tex.), a member of the president's Social Security Advisory Commission, yesterday attacked that group's plan for rescuing the system on grounds that it depends too much on tax increases and use of general revenues as opposed to curbing benefit growth.
Archer filed minority views to the panel's forthcoming report, saying solution of the Social Security financing problem should have relied much more heavily on "structural changes which would restrain the growth of spending outlays," such as long-term revision of automatic cost-of-living increases and raising retirement age.
The commission, by a bipartisan 12-to-3 vote Saturday, recommended inclusion of future federal workers in the system, acceleration of Social Security taxes already scheduled for 1985 and 1990, taxation of half the Social Security benefit of higher-income retirees and a six-month postponement of future cost-of-living increases. These plus certain other changes would be expected to bring in $169 billion over the next seven years. The president and the House speaker have endorsed this plan.
Archer, one of the three dissenters, said he respected the bipartisan effort to reach a compromise, but felt that taxing benefits discourages people from saving and constitutes a means test. In addition, he said, the plan increases the Social Security tax on the self-employed by an estimated 33 percent, imposing an excessively heavy burden on this group. Finally, he calculated, about one-third of all new money raised would come directly or indirectly from general revenues.