Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Saving Social Security - Common Sense Ideas

Despite the announcement by Senator Dirty Harry Reid, the Socialist Senate Majority Leader that Social Security is just fine, the reality is that Social Security is going bankrupt.  As of this year,  the Social Security Administration is paying out more money than it takes in from those currently working.   As a result of 70 million Baby Boomers retiring, it is estimated that within 9 years Social Security will be broke.   So, business as usual is just not sustainable.  However, Social Security can be saved for future generations with some creative thinking. 

First, people 65 or older with substantial means should be offerred a buy out of 50% of what they paid into the system in exchange for relinquishing their right to any long term Social Security payments.  The so called "rich" would jump at this opportunity and it would immediately end the government's long term obligation to these people.  This is a good deal for the government too since people are living much longer so ending this obligation for as many as possible makes sense. 

Second, Social Security should not be indexed to inflation.   Whatever someone gets upon retirement should be it for the rest of their lives.   If people know that they must live on this amount, they will make the necessary adjustments to deal with it.   It might mean less travel or other life style choices; but it will not be the end of the world.  This change will also cause people to save more during their working lives in recognition of the fact that Social Security is just a supplement not the whole retirement enchilada.

Third, the retirement age should be raised for those under 55 years old to 68 for early retirement and 70 for full benefits.   When Social Security was invented in the 30's, average life span was 62.  People are now living to be 80 or more so a later retirement age is warranted.   Access to Medicare can remain at 65 (separate problem that must be solved) so that those who choose to retire early because they can afford to do so will have access to medical insurance.  

Fourth, Social Security should just be in place to pay retirement benefits to the individual that earned them, not dependent children under 18 years of age.   Further, the notion that when the spouse dies, the remaining spouse on Social Security gets the higher of the two benefits is not actuarily sound.   When someone dies, their Social Security check must end not go to someone else for the rest of their lives.  

Fifth, there must be more incentives for people to save while working so that Social Security is not the only means of retirement support.   That means expanded IRS's, 401K benefits and the potential for other private accounts that have tax benefits.  When young people realize that Social Security is just part of their retirement planning, they will act to build other savings especially if there is an incentive to do it. 

It is highly doubtful that the Socialists will enact any of these things because they want their PEEP's completely dependent on big government.   This is how they win elections.   So, we must sweep these Socialists out of office, including President Obama in 2012 by electing common sense Conservatives willing to tackle these tough issues.   Social Security is often referred to as the third rail; but it could be a real winner for Conservatives bold enough to propose new ideas.   We have to take back our country in 2012 and 2014 to prevent the bankrupcy of the United States.   We can do it.   We must do it to preserve our freedom, our nation and way of life for the sake of our children and grandchildren.   These common sense changes to Social Security will save it for future generations; but only if we act now. 

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