I'm not saying that the problem with Social Security is anywhere as huge as the Republicans are making it out to be, but if we really want to ensure Social Security's viability over the coming years, why not simplify it and shift more of the burden to the rich and super-rich? The cap is currently at $90,000. You pay no Social Security taxes beyond $90K, so once you've earned that in a given year, you stop paying into Social Security until the next year. Isn't this, by definition, highly regressive?
I've heard Al Franken on Air America suggest that Social Security taxes should kick in again after $350K of income or so, but why make it that complicated? Why not eliminate the cap entirely, decrease the overall percentage appropriately, along with the employer's matching contribution, and make the whole kit n' kaboodle taxable?
Our taxes have historically been based on ability to pay, so why do we stop collecting Social Security taxes after the first $90K? It hits the poor and middle classes a lot harder than it does the rich and super-rich, so why is it done in the first place?
Furthermore, what would be a compelling argument for not doing it this way? You could ensure Social Security's viability indefinitely and probably run surpluses for years. Future generations could probably get tax breaks as surpluses build up.