Obama Floats Social Security Tax Hike

"With their proposals to raise Social Security taxes, it appears that John Edwards and Barack Obama are engaged in competition to see who can wreak more havoc on the economy," said Club for Growth spokeswoman Nachama Soloveichik. "Obama comes out the winner with his proposal to raise Social Security taxes on more Americans than Edwards proposed in his plan. But make no mistake: While Obama's plan is worse, both plans would significantly increase America's tax burden; devastate the economy, and turn Social Security into a full-fledged welfare program."

For her part, Clinton opposes both the Obama idea of imposing new taxes on those making $97,000 per year and the Edwards proposal to tax those making $200,000 per year.

Thus far in her presidential campaign, the former first lady has resisted all specific revenue-generating proposals for Social Security. While invoking her husband's record as president, Clinton said at Thursday's AARP forum that her focus would be on getting back to fiscal discipline in the non-Social Security portion of the budget. She argues that this will have the effect of extending the life of the Social Security trust fund as it did in the 1990s.

By not proposing elimination of the Social Security tax cap, Clinton has inoculated herself from the criticism that is now being directed at Obama.

But she is no stranger to the tax equity argument that one billionaire investor has made in advocating changes to the cap.

"Middle class and working families are paying a much higher percentage of their income [than wealthier Americans] -- that was Warren Buffet's position," said Clinton at a June 29 PBS debate, "When you cut off the contribution at $90,000, $95,000, that's a lot of money between $95,000 and the $46 million that Warren Buffet made last year. And he's honest enough to say, 'Look, tax me because I'm a patriotic American and I want to make sure our country stays strong and is fair.'"

ABC News' Jonathan Greenberger and Jacqueline Klingebiel contributed to this report.

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