I HATE REPUBLICANS
Down with private accounts!
Sen. Rick Santorum, the conservative from Pennsylvania who ranks third in the Senate Republican leadership, said yesterday that he was willing to discuss increasing the Social Security tax rate as a way of helping to assure the program's solvency.
Santorum said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that raising the Social Security payroll tax might be the price Republicans have to pay for Democratic support for diverting some of the tax revenue to private retirement accounts, as President Bush has proposed.
Santorum's comments on raising the Social Security payroll tax rate come at a time that the public appeared to be reacting negatively to Bush's private accounts.
In holding out an olive branch to Democrats, Santorum went one step further than the president.
Bush last month said he would consider raising the cap on annual wages subject to the tax, but he has repeatedly ruled out an increase in the tax rate.
Social Security is supported by a 12.4 percent tax, shared equally by employer and employee, on the first $90,000 of annual wages.