Fold payroll taxes into the personal tax code, adjusting the rules so that everyone still pays the same total, but the tax bill shows up on the 1040. Doing so will tell everyone the truth: Their payroll taxes are being used to pay whatever bills the federal government brings upon itself, among which are the costs of Social Security and Medicare.
The finishing touch is to make sure that people understand how much they are paying, which is presently obscured by withholding at the workplace. End withholding, and require everybody to do what millions of Americans already do: write checks for estimated taxes four times a year.
That, I think, is all it would take: make everybody actually write a check for their taxes, and every wish of the conservatives would come true.
Some of the opposition to this idea comes from people who say, “Oh no, the average taxpayer isn’t smart enough to put aside money for taxes by himself.” Well, that might be so, but it would only happen once. Because when the average taxpayers got a bill and actually saw how much they pay in taxes, they would march on Washington and absolutely burn the place to the ground. After that, income taxes probably wouldn’t be much of a problem for anybody.