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Saturday, February 27, 2010

How To Save Social Security

Consider this. My idea to genuinely save Social Security for future generations would give all current and future beneficiaries 65-and-up a "choice" at retirement time to take a onetime cash buyout to invest in the capital markets for themselves or to receive the monthly pay-outs. This would actually work both morally and economically because by retirement age most folks know whether they need the guaranteed payments SS promised. I can imagine some of the wealthier folks (and all of Ryan's supporters) taking it. This way the trust fund won't be drained as quickly and the next generations could enjoy the same opportunity of monthly endowment benefits as beneficiaries receive now, and because they will continue to pay into it.

The key feature to this idea is it preserves the current entitlement system for everyone under the age of 55.

INSTEAD, Rep. Paul Ryan proposed the exact opposite!! He proposed to leave the current recipient's schedule unchanged and without that choice, while throwing the next generations of SS participants under a bus by offering a poisoned T-bone savings account to invest in the capital markets long before they will know what their future will look like. Folks can invest and save in the markets right now without government intervention or control, so why bring in even more intrusive government control? Of course, Ryan's plan is designed to intentionally starve Social Security.

I don't believe this "buy-out" tool is the single and ultimate fix-all for SS, but it should be considered along with other serious solutions such as a higher income ceiling to keep it permanently solvent.

SS offers a promise to keep the average worker out of absolute poverty. It doesn't come cheap.

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