Monday, February 07, 2005

2 for 2: Bush Wrong on Social Security

In my second letter to the editor to be published in a major national magazine, I refined my reasons why President Bush's plan for privatizing Social Security Insurance is a bad, bad idea. (Read first letter.)

Keep in mind I was originally open minded about SS privatization, because I had been repeatedly told the system would be bankrupt, (which I took to mean I would get $.00 upon retirement) however it turns out that "bankrupt" really means I would receive 7o-80% of current promised benefits, if NOTHING is done to the existing system. AND since the benefits are indexed to wage increases, the payments would still be more than what today's retirees currently receive. Not exactly bankrupt.

Here's my letter published in US News and World Report:

At 33, I'm worried about the solvency of Social Security. However, it seems President Bush's current privatization plan of choice does little to actually offset his proposed cuts in benefits and adds trillions of dollars to our national debt, all while creating a windfall for the investment and financial community. In essence, his plan would cut benefits drastically for today's younger workers like me, while gutting the "Security" aspect and relying on the market to overcome large benefit reductions. Wouldn't it make more sense to modify Social Security benefits and gradually raise the retirement age in conjunction with more 401(k) and IRA perks and incentives? Additional changes might allow early withdrawal options for 401(k)'s/IRA s to offset any future increase in the minimum retirement age for Social Security. In this way, Social Security remains a viable option with limited market risk for retirees, yet people can take control of their own financial future through increased private investment.


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