Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A Depression-era program that's depressing

Several writers to the Wall Street Journal vent on Barack Obama's Social Security proposal:

Mr. Furman [Obama's economic policy director] goes on to say, "Mr. Obama has stated that he would like to extend solvency while protecting middle-class families and asking those making over $250,000 to pay their fair share." I find this repugnant. I pay into the system precisely what Congress prescribes and will draw from the system precisely what Congress prescribes. The notion that I'm not paying my "fair share" suggests that I'm cheating. In fact, the system cheats me and it will be more onerous because, as Mr. Furman notes, under Mr. Obama's "fix" we will have to wait to see "the linkage between these tax payments and benefits."
I like this one too: "Let me opt out. The market is a heck of a lot safer than government promises unkept." Unfortunately, Social Security is the government program so good they had to make it mandatory.


Anonymous said...

My father was a university professor back when, as he explained it to me, educators were allowed to opt out of social security. It made him very happy that he was never roped into that scheme. On an extremely modest salary, with three kids, he managed to save enough to amass a comfortable, privately-funded retirement and leave a generous estate -- all by the extraordinary tactic of living below his means for his entire life.

Wendy Laubach

Anonymous said...

On Feb. 14, 2008, Ben Bernanke told a Congressional Committee that, by 2030, according to Fed projections, entitlements will consume the entire federal budget. I was outraged, but not a single Congressman so much as raised an eyebrow. The comment went completely unnoticed! The book, Facing The Financial Disaster Ahead, lays out a workable solution for Social Security. It' about personal retirement accounts, but it's a simple plan that can be easily communicated to the working classes - as opposed to the current bill in Congress - the people who need to understand the possibilities in order to presuure Congress to make a change. It's available from amazon.com or through your favorite bookstore.