Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Social Security: Who Cares?

By [Guest] Patrick E. Bell

One of the most intriguing questions about Social Security reform is, "Who cares?" Well, I know this may be difficult for some college students, but this is a system that will, at the very least affect many of those around us. I for one hope not to require Social Security. However, we need to be honest with ourselves and admit that there are those who won't be able to get by without it. While somewhat dated, Robert Samuelson has a good handle on this topic. See generally: The Good Life and its discontent: The American Dream in the Age of Entitlement. New York: Vintage Books, 1995, 1997. See also: WashingtonPost.com

Many pundits and commentators are railing against Bush, shrieking that Social Security shouldn't be touched. AARP has launched several ad campaigns against President Bush's policy. One of my favorites features a bulldozer taking down a house. I digress, Bush isn't playing the cards smart on this issue. Where Bush may be going wrong: arguing that Social Security is completely broken, defunct, and won't continue to work without MAJOR changes is a skewing of the facts.

Sure, to some degree Social Security needs to be addressed, but who wants to touch the issue? An objective observer might look at all of those pie and bar charts and realize that the problem is still a long way off, at least in terms of fiscal policy and planning. Sure, we can do something about it now, but why fix something that isn't broken? Should we confront a problem that is years away, or let it ride for a while longer? Afterall, Social Security is one of the only federal programs running a surplus right now.

However, one part of Bush's reform agenda rings true for this observer. For this country's younger and more astute crowd, if WE play our cards right, we can all be a lot better off down the road. Bush's plan, however, needs more of a libertarian influence. "Choice" is the keyword, and for libertarians, "Choice" should be what makes us care about Social Security. Some of you may have heard the saying, "If Social Security wasn't run by the Federal government, it would be a Ponzi scheme!" I concur, and if you disagree, go ahead and put your money in now, don't change anything, and maybe you'll get a portion of it back later. What a crock! For me, this is a matter of choice. It's a matter of how I plan my retirement, and I for one am not comfortable letting the government manage my money anymore. What say you?

Cross posted at: "Respectfully Republican" www.plucrs.blogspot.com

1 comment:

marco said...

I care, not to mention that it is 12.4% out of my payroll; but more importantly, i am of the belief that social security is a huge impediment to poor people accumulating and propagating wealth.