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Liberty: -- Policy Analysis -- "Saving" Social Security Is Not Enough

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  • Marc Brands Liberty
    Saving Social Security Is Not Enough Executive Summary It seems that no politician discusses Social Security these days without a call to save the program.
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2003
      "Saving" Social Security Is Not Enough

      Executive Summary

      It seems that no politician discusses Social Security these days
      without a call to "save" the program. Certainly, it is possible to see
      why the program needs saving. It is facing financial insolvency: it is
      more than $20 trillion in debt and will be running a deficit in just
      15 years.

      But to focus on "saving" Social Security is to miss the larger point.
      Merely finding sufficient funding to preserve Social Security fails to
      address the serious shortcomings of the current system. The question
      should be, not whether we can save Social Security, but whether we can
      provide the best possible retirement system for American workers.
      Social Security fails both as an anti-poverty program and as a
      retirement program. It contains numerous inequities and leaves future
      retirement benefits to the whims of politicians. Why should the goal
      of public policy be to save such a program?

      Instead of saving Social Security, we should begin the transition to a
      new and better retirement system based on individually owned,
      privately invested accounts. The new system would allow workers to
      accumulate real wealth that would prevent their retiring to poverty.
      Because a privatized system would provide a far higher rate of return,
      it would yield much higher retirement benefits. Because workers would
      own their accounts, money in them could be passed on to future
      generations as an inheritance. That would particularly benefit the
      poor and minorities. Finally, workers would no longer be dependent on
      politicians for their retirement incomes.

      Full text at:

      Source: http://www.socialsecurity.org/pubs/ssps/ssp-20es.html

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      - A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but
      only a fool trusts either of them. --P. J. O’Rourke, Parliament of

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