Indeed, on today's Washington Post editorial page, Michael Gerson advises Obama to do exactly this, even as he recognizes that there is little political support for it, particularly among Democrats. But repeating the long buzz in certain circles that it should be done because it is easier to do than dealing with rising medical care costs or raising taxes or cutting defense spending, he should do it, with the aid of supposedly willing Republicans, and even though the system is the least contributor to the deficit of any major part of the federal budget, although neither he nor anybody else notes that this does a big fat zero about the near term deficit. My my. Unfortunately, I fear that those around Obama may be getting to him, as there is this well-known group of Democrats tied to Wall Street that likes this sort of argument. Rumors keep surfacing that he will put some sort of variation of what came out of his Deficit Commission on this matter into his State of the Union speech next month.
Over a week ago on Angry Bear the estimable Bruce Webb argued that the 2% cut in payroll taxes was picked by insider Dems as part of an old plan to be offered to be put into private accounts, long the goal of the Wall Street gang. I fear he may be right on this, see http://www.angrybearblog.com/2010/12/2-non-solution-part-two.html. Bah, humbug!