When HIllary Clinton told an audience of AARP members in Iowa yesterday that cutting Social Security benefits or raising the eligibility age to boost Social Security's long-term sustainability was "off the table," it was meant to be a direct shot at Sen. Barack Obama, whose table contains those sour-tasting options.

So how would Clinton reduce pressure on the Social Security trust fund? The print edition of today's Wall Street Journal suggests that Clinton hasn't ruled out raising the payroll tax.


"When it comes to Social Security," she will stand her ground, Mr. Singer said. "People rely on Social Security." Asked if that would mean an increase in the current payroll tax, he said, "Among other things, yes."



But the Clinton campaign says the Journal is wrong.

The print edition of today's Wall Street Journal suggests that Hillary Clinton would be open to an increase in the payroll tax for Social Security.

That is not correct.

Hillary Clinton would not increase payroll taxes for Social Security as President.



Here's how the Journal article now ends:

Just as Mr. Bush's insistence on private accounts caused Democrats to refuse to bargain with him over Social Security in 2005, Mrs. Clinton's stance against benefit cuts would likely cause anti-tax Republicans to refuse to come to the table. Mrs. Clinton, in the new campaign speech she unveiled this week, boasted that she has a record of working well with Republicans, and would do so as president.

"You can't always demand everything your own way, or you'll never get anything done in America," she said in Iowa.

Spokesman Phil Singer, asked to square that with her line on Social Security, noted that Mrs. Clinton also said a president has to know "when to stand your ground and when to find common ground."

"When it comes to Social Security," she will stand her ground, Mr. Singer said. "People rely on Social Security." He said Mrs. Clinton's goal was to avoid a payroll-tax increase and to fix the system by working toward a surplus in the overall federal budget.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.