Social Security Rant
As the Baby Boomer Generation continue to get older, one of the hot topics will continue to be Social Security. Critics claim that Social Security is going bankrupt, and that it needs to be privatized as soon as possible, or people will lose their benefits. This rant examines if Social Security needs to be privatized, and if it is actually going broke.
Thanks to various search engines, and thanks to the Information Superhighway, there is much data to suggest that Social Security-even at the going rate-will be able to pay full benefits at least until 2032, and some research indicates it could survive as long as 2042. Also, seventy-five percent of Social Security funding comes from the payroll tax, which guarantees that Social Security will never go broke. The trick is-in about thirty or forty years, to come up with a system to make up the other twenty-five percent. Those who like to crunch numbers, and those who are familiar with the mathematical formula claim that a raise in the payroll tax by two percent-one percent by the employer, and one percent by the employee, will guarantee the survival of Social Security until the Second Coming. Analysts like to stress the fact that a tax increase-no matter how meager it may or may not be, is not the only solution. With the advancement of technology and medical science, people are living longer than they ever have before. Also, various amounts of disease have been quelled. About ninety years ago, the number one killer in the world was Spanish Influenza. Today, the flu is no longer a serious threat. Also, polio used to be a scourge on society, but these days, that disease has been virtually eradicated off the face of the planet. Thus, it makes sense that the retirement age will-and should-be raised to about 70. Actually, seventy years of age is not old. In fact, it is about the average age, in this country, and well below the average in many industrialized nations in the world.
Of course claiming that Social Security is under-funded is not telling the whole story. Let us look at the facts. So far, on this war on terror, the United States has spent over 300 billion dollars. If that amount is divided by the present population, that equals to about a thousand dollars for every man, woman, and child in the country. Also, do not forget about the hundreds of millions of dollars that "loaned" to other countries in the world. Instead of saying, "Social Security is going broke because of the population", the correct statement should be, "the president believes that there are more important things to spend money on rather than insuring that benefits will be around for years to come."
Whenever Social Security Reform is mentioned, there are always a select few that love to clamor that the system should be privatized. Statistically we know that people spend more than they save. If Social Security should be privatized, what about the millions of people that do not have a bank account? Should those people automatically receive an account? And who is going to make sure that these people get an account--the federal government? That would defeat the purpose of privatizing Social Security in the first place. It's kind of like saying, "let's fix our brakes so we can take the car to the mechanic so he can fix the brakes."
I could do a lot of research and list a lot of data and list a lot of references, or I could use history and common sense to prove that Social Security should never be put in the hands of a private institution. It is certainly true that there have been many government scandals that have cost the taxpayer billions throughout the history of this country. The failure of the Savings and Loans is one example, and the list is quite lengthy. Also, there have been many scandals in the private realm that has wiped out the life savings of countless people. Enron is just one example in a list that I am sure is exhaustive. Thus, the conclusion is that history shows that it government bureaucracy is safer than the private realm, thus leave Social Security alone.
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