House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan predicts that the Obama plan could change the way Americans look at Social Security. At the Hoover Institution last week, Ryan told me that if Washington "de-links Social Security's financing from labor and reward -- from payroll taxes to benefit -- we're risking changing the social-insurance nature of the program and turning it into a welfare program."
Close to 40 percent of Americans pay no federal income taxes. Now Obama wants to halve the only payroll tax they pay. That would leave a bigger tax burden on those who do pay federal taxes. And yes, Social Security would start looking like welfare.