Privatizing Social Security
The topic of privatizing social security has been of growing importance to the Bush administration in recent months. However, the debate itself has been around for quite sometime. In 1978 Social Security reform was enacted to address foreseen problems. Two years later in 1980, President Carter and Presidential nominee Reagan engaged in hot debate over the future of Social Security. In the 1990's it was mostly democrats who kept touting the looming problems with the social security program. Now that Republicans want to actually act, and do something to address those problems, the democrats turn 180 degrees and deny that there really is a problem.
Before I go any further, let me show just one of many examples of a 180 degree flop. In December, 1999, Edwin Feulner wrote an article titled Deaf to Social Security's Problems. His opening sentence reads:
" "A Social Security Bombshell" read the headline on a recent Washington Post editorial highlighting a report showing Social Security's finances in even worse shape than suspected."Edwin Feulner did a fine job of outlining some of the critical issues with Social Security and some great arguments for privatization. At that time, the Washington Post was also sharing the gloom of Social Security problems. But just five years later in February, 2005, the Washington Post had this headline:
" Social Security Problems Not a Crisis, Most Say "That article went on to show polls and beliefs that Social Security isn't really all that bad off. I guess the Washington Post had a complete change of heart (they pulled a John Kerry).
The fact is, Social Security, and its growing problems have been debated for decades. Less people are paying in, more people are collecting - the system is getting weaker and every year we are approaching the collapse that has been declared inevitable. Why hasn't anything been done about it? Because politicians don't like to stir the waters on hugely controversial issues. There is no easy fix. We are looking at a bad system that keeps getting worse - and they will continue to get worse before they get better. Any proper fix to Social Security will result in short term upheaval, and previous politicians have feared that.
President Bush has now proposed to actually do something about it. He's a guy who takes action, even when there is no easy solution. His opponents not only hate that he's attempting to fix what they didn't have the guts to fix, but they hate the way he wants to do it. They hate the fact that it gives some control back to the people.
Regardless, now is the time to address this inevitable problem. Republicans don't have all the answers or perfect solutions, but they are trying to take some very positive steps in the right direction - that is much more than we can say for the self-absorbed, control seeking socialists trying to sabotage honest attempts to get things done. President Bush has asked leaders on both sides of the aisle to please bring forward any ideas or suggestions to fix the system. So while the democrats continue to decry any proposal or idea that Bush or the Republicans suggest, they continue to fail at offering any plans of their own. That is the continued pattern of the democratic party - criticize the Republicans for having the gull to take action on tough issues, while their own party remains stagnant.
The thing that still gets me, is if someone is truly that opposed to having private control over a small portion of their social security, why shouldn't I at least have the choice to control my own? Again, I ask the democrats to explain to me their beliefs on the peoples' right to choose. Right now, the proposed privatized plan is completely voluntary. The fact is, the democratic leaders are opposed to it because they will loose a little bit of control over the American people. I believe that most individuals who might be opposed to privatizing social security are simply afraid - mostly because of the lies being told to them by the democrats. Either that or they are just so completely entrenched in hatred for Republicans that they refuse to live in reality.
I've heard the argument, "well, what if the stock market goes down right before you retire?"
My answer is first of all, under the privatized plan, you will be limited in what investments you can make. You can't invest in individual stocks or high-risk investments. So as a smart individual, experienced investor, and common sense thinker, I will build my assets over time and increase my private portfolio. I will be able to shift my assets over to bonds or other safe investment vehicles as I get older. This allows me to build a bigger nest egg over time, and still secure it as I near retirement.
So for those of you who believe that privatizing Social Security isn't a good idea, could you tell me, what's dangerous about it? Better yet, tell me why shouldn't I have the right to invest my own Social Security money for my own retirement? If you don't want to invest your own money, you don't have to, you're not forced to, but why shouldn't I have the choice if I want to? You're taking away my free choice to manage 12.5% of my own money. Actually, you're forcing me to give that money to government and I may never see it again. That's just plain wrong.
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