Of course, SS reform has been a big topic lately. Alex Tabarrok has a great post on the argument about the fairness of the current SS system. I likewise agree with his endosement of Tyler’s solution—make it, explicitly, a poverty program for the elderly.
The gist of Alex’s post is that, as long as we are pretending SS is a pension system, rather than a welfare program, the argument against a regressive payroll tax falls flat. However, if we admit that it’s a welfare program, we should treat it as such. This, of course, would open it to things such as means testing, eliminating the automatic increases and the like.
In the mean time, as long as we are calling it a pension (or retirement) system, arguments about the fairness of regressive taxes should be ignored.*