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Will You Answer What Congress Won't? The Top 20 Questions pt 6

Back in late 2004 and early 2005, I sent emails, faxes, and letters to every member of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate. In it, I asked them for their answer to a set of twenty questions which the readers of Polipundit wanted asked. The text of the letter was posted here.

52 Readers in 38 states joined the effort, asking their district Representatives and Senators to answer the questions. Response from our elected Representatives and Senators was poor, predictably so. Most Congressmen and Senators simply ignored the letters, emails and faxes. In the end, only seventeen answered with any degree of substance, and not one answered more than two questions.

I was looking at the set of questions this week, and you know, they still look like good questions to me, so I am going to ask you for your opinion on them. This will take a while, since I am putting up one question for each post, but please give this your serious consideration. And folks, this is not about politics or smacking down the other side; this is an opportunity to explore the issues of substance for our country. Sad that Congress was not up to it, but maybe we can get the conversation going. Thanks in advance.

6. What specific measures would you recommend to protect Social Security for coming generations?


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Comments (21)

Privatize it.Inste... (Below threshold)
Dave W:

Privatize it.

Instead of making people pay into the government, allow employees to direct an increasing portion of their "contributions" to either their 401k plan, or another account that can gain interest.

The reason this idea failed is because this would essentially bring less money to washington. No one in washington would dare stand on the senate or house floors and actually want to bring less money there...

Privatize it. Make it mine... (Below threshold)

Privatize it. Make it mine to control, not the governments. It should be a defined, protected benefit. Right now, it's nothing more than redistribution of my money.

Get it out of the governmen... (Below threshold)

Get it out of the government's hands. Stop it paying ofr all kinds of benefits it was never meant to pay for, like disability and such.

The government shouldn't ta... (Below threshold)

The government shouldn't take my money and pretend to plan for my future. That includes planning for my need for a new car, planning for my need for new clothes, or planning for my need for income in old age. Phase out 'Social Security'. Put people in charge of their own lives. You make your own choices and you accept the consequences of those decisions.

If the politicians and bureaucrats want some sort of welfare program for the elderly, let's have that discussion but call it what it is... pretending it's a retirement program is nonsense and only pollutes the discussion.

What they said.... (Below threshold)
Farmer Joe:

What they said.

I'd like to control over th... (Below threshold)

I'd like to control over that portion of my earnings that the government confiscates and redistributes to others, as well. But the question was not what you would do with Social Security to ensure greater individual control or give you the chance for a larger retirement nest egg. The question was what you would do to protect Social Security; implicit in that is at least the benefits to current retirees, and perhaps the benefits promised to some or all future retirees. I'm not sure that protection and privatization are incompatible, but the comments so far don't address, or at least adequately explain, the protection aspect, certainly with respect to current retirees.

When Social Security was or... (Below threshold)

When Social Security was originally established the life expectancy was 67 so most didnt draw on it for very long. Immediately extend the retirement age for those currently under the age of 60 to 70. Then give an increasing amount of investment control (as stated above) to the individual over time.

What #1-#3 said. And do it ... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

What #1-#3 said. And do it now.

Privatize it. I can invest... (Below threshold)

Privatize it. I can invest 15% of my annual salaried income, and receive on average about 300% higher rate of return. Also, besides the obvious benefits on the micro and macro level of seniors having mroe income, there also becomes an asset to pass on to next generation.

Who exactly gets SS and SSD these days. We hear stories of many many people getting it that havent 'earned' it. Time to trim the fat if illegals, etc are receiving ss or ssd fraudulently.

GeminiChuck - this is alrea... (Below threshold)

GeminiChuck - this is already in progress. I am young enough that my "retirement age" has already been raised to 67.

Since I happen to be one of... (Below threshold)

Since I happen to be one of the upcoming generations, I'm all for privitization of ss. The less control the government has over the money I earn, the better. If I can manage my retirement savings, I can certainly manage my social security. Also, future generations would include my own beneficiaries.

"Give every person who now ... (Below threshold)
Chris M.:

"Give every person who now has a claim on Social Security a bond equal to the value of his claim, and set him free. Let him save. Let him do what he wants with it. That would not add a dollar to the debt we now have; it would just convert an unfunded debt into a funded debt."
-Milton Friedman

Privitize it.... (Below threshold)

Privitize it.

I disagree with the premise... (Below threshold)

I disagree with the premise of the question. Why preserve a bad idea. Teach future generations to be self sufficient.

Allow anyone under age 35 t... (Below threshold)

Allow anyone under age 35 to opt out of SS but they must leave what they have paid into the system in the Trust.
Means test all eligible recipients and cut off benefits at the $75,000 income level.

Choice A: privitize it over... (Below threshold)

Choice A: privitize it over a 5 year period
Choice B if choice A is too difficult politically. :) Stop rading the trust fund, again phased in over a 5 year period ...

Either plan would make the plan solvent ... Plan A would also allow individuals to improve their rate of return over current SS ...

Do something about illegal ... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

Do something about illegal imagration and end this litigation poppycock our nation cant take all this stuff

Seems kind of silly so far ... (Below threshold)
Dave W:

Seems kind of silly so far that no candidates are saying anything about privatizing SS.

This is obviously an unscientific poll, but the last time i saw a monolithic response on this site was... well... never.

Turn it into welfare for th... (Below threshold)

Turn it into welfare for the elderly. Means-testing, for sure. Shouldn't be there for comfortable retirement but for preventing elderly from being totally destitute.

Clearly the best way to pro... (Below threshold)
Just John:

Clearly the best way to protect Social Security is to not elect Republicans.

I have to agree with Charli... (Below threshold)
Bill Woessner:

I have to agree with CharlieDontSurf. I don't accept the premise of the question. Social Security is the second worse thing ever to happen to the American people (second only to Medicare). Why would you want to protect that?






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