Over at National Review Online, IWF’s Carrie Lukas examines some of the presidential hopefuls’ Social Security reform plans.  As Carrie notes, candidates seem eager to tell voters what there aren’t going to do about Social Security rather than providing a detailed plan to deal with the challenges facing the failing Social Security system:

“This week, presidential hopeful Barack Obama penned an op-ed providing insight into what he might do as President to reform Social Security. Most of his piece focused on what he would not do to solve Social Security’s problems: “First, I will fight against efforts to privatize Social Security…Second, I do not want to cut benefits or raise the retirement age. I believe there are a number of ways we can make Social Security solvent that do not involve placing these added burdens on our seniors.”

“In other words-as anyone who seeks the Democratic nomination must-Senator Obama bows to the powerful AARP senior lobby, vowing not to do anything to affect the payments given to this richest cohort in our society. He also promises them a tax cut for good measure.

“The only change he recommends considering for Social Security is to raise taxes. Specifically, he proposes eliminating the cap on the amount of income taxed for Social Security. He claims: “If we kept the payroll tax rate exactly the same but applied it to all earnings and not just the first $97,500, we could virtually eliminate the entire Social Security shortfall.”

“Yet this massive tax increase would not, in reality, eliminate Social Security’s deficit. Under current law, the highest earners’ benefits are calculated based on the amount of income they paid payroll taxes on. If the wage cap were eliminated, and Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, and other multi-millionaires paid taxes on all their earnings, then the amount that they would be due at retirement would also soar. A recent Social Security Administration study of eliminating the wage cap found that this massive tax increase would only give Social Security an extra seven years before beginning to run deficits.”

Read more here.