T Nation

Social Security Reform


What are some T-Nationers proposals for Social Security Reform? I don't simply want to hear "We need to abolish it" or "it is unfair and doesn't work". I want to hear some real ideas on how to fix it.

I would love for the government to just phase it out by paying those in retirement and giving others the choice to stay in and receive a benefit, or opt out and never receive any benefit or receive a reduced benefit, but the fact that the trust fund has zero money and about 60 trillion in iou's makes this unlikely.

So, what are some other ideas that are actually feasible?


Opt out, as in don't pay taxes for it either?


How bout just leaving it alone, it doesn't really need much fixing.


Even in the event that you were right about the mathematics of it, it doesn't take into account the greater evil of Social Security. It makes children and small men out of our society. It breeds dependency amongst the populace. In doing so it propagates demagoguery within the entire political process. In accepting it we allow ourselves to become a willing slave class. But hey, if that works for you...

I'm willing to forgo all my Social Security payouts right now AND still pay my social security taxes until I die if that meant that I could bring about its end while paying out those we have still promised to pay. I'd hate for us to not keep a promise.



The usual nonsense - the Left tries to pass this off as true because they want to avoid any meaningful reform of a broken system.

Reform might actually start a conversation about its scope and necessity - and the Left must plant their collective head in the sand in order to preserve the status quo.

At a minimum, SS was never meant to be a full-blown retirement pension program. The original age of eligibility was also the average age of mortality - SS was designed to be a supplement, not a 20-30 year standalone pension plan.

That said, I don't think outright privatization is politically feasible. However, I do believe in setting up an alternative system that you can opt into that essentially mirrors some of the benefits of a private fund/annuity (I think CATO had a plan like this in a paper) - give retirees a choice.

And the alternative can be run like a generational mutual fund that gets more conservative as you get older (and it would already be fairly conservative to begin with).

But I do think a feasible alternative that incorporates some level of privatization must be part of a government program or oversight - Americans, for better or worse, have generational expectations of SS being there, and I doubt there would be much chance of making that disappear.


I agree completely. We have become a nation of happy serfs, waiting for government to run everything. It never dawns on people that, for ex with SS, they'd have had a lot more money if they could have invested it. FDR tried to get that through but his lib buddies demagogued it out.

Ever read 'The Report from Iron Mountain'? A nation of serfs...


It's factually not broken, hence needs very little fixing. You could just say you're opposed to S.S. , but it sounds stupid to say it's broken when the exact opposite is true.


Must you lie? Or why do you listen to liars? If Brit Hume tells you FDR supported supplanting S.S. with "self supporting annuity plans" and thats not true, then maybe stop listening (also how many other things do you believe are lies.)

Hume was deliberately misquoting a plan to help fund another program for the current generation of old people at that time who would obviously not have paid into S.S. Also hilariously prominent dems DO support a suppemental investment plan not paid out of S.S. and not linked to S.S. (The opposite of what you said.)

But yeah other than the fact you repeated TOTALLY MADE up shit, good post, adds alot to the discussion.


I would give up everything I have �??earned�?? in Social Security if they would privatize it.

Anyone who does not want to experience the �??privatized�?? version can simply stick with the non-privatized version. But practically nobody will want to be in the original version after about a decade.

Right now the governments funny math is hiding the looming disaster. We are supposed to only be 9 trillion in debt. But that is only when Social Security's assets are included, but ignoring the liabilities it produces. USA Today figured up the actual debt to be over 59 trillion.

The only way to really deal with this is to privatize it. That takes much of the debt off the books. Although the funny math has been used to �??save�?? Social Security, never mentioning that the only reason that the government debt goes up is because the can no longer use Social Security to hide the debt.

In 1998 the rate of return on Social Security was about 1.23%. (heritage.org) You can do better then that with a CD.

If anyone thinks Social Security is such a great idea, why did the government shut down Ponzi when he did the exact same thing?


Privatizing would do nothing to help the solvency of S.S.(that's according to libs like Bush) and would factually increase the debt. And at the economic rates used to predict the end of S.S. one would not want to be invested in the stock market.

Better to just leave it. Its fine all by itself.


Your ignorance is astounding.

The first baby-boomer just filed for SS benefits within the last week or so.

Unless something is done - SS tax will rise to untenable levels to pay for the me generation.

I guess I would like to know your definition of "not broken".

SS should be abolished. I know the OP doesn't want to hear that, but that is the only option that is constitutionally valid.

With that said - nothing will ever change except the tax rate. I'll bet you 20 bucks that within the next 10 years there is a substantial increase in SS/medicare taxes.

Right now - the SE tax is 15.3%. No deductions - that's right off the top of one's business profit. Taking more would be even more punitive than it is now.

No - it's not broken.

What load of bullshit. But - coming from the token Soros spouting dead head, what else should one expect?


Wow, libs are touchy on their 'sacred cows'. Why do you believe your lib buddies but I should not listen to conservatives? LOL!!


It'll HAVE to become means-tested. There no way those benefits can be paid and have a viable currency. There are limits to how much a country can be drowned in paper money.

Imagine trillions of unfunded liability, paid for with a simple mouse click. That would literally ruin the dollar.

What the libs REALLY miss out on here though is the steady flow of huge amounts of capital into investment, if some of the SS tax went that way. The cost of capital would plummet and we'd have an unprecedented boom in our economy. It'd be better than the 1950s!


Ignorance? You apparently are ignorant of the fact that these boomers are calculated into the projections for S.S.. You know the ones that say S.S. is totally fine until at least '42(or '52 depending on your source) or perhaps forever if economy doesn't drop to the dire levels used to predict the future shortcomings.

Again, instead of making shit up just say you don't like it.


The first thing is to stop robbing the trust fund in order to make the budget deficit's look smaller.

When Bill Clinton talks about how he almost balanced the budget, he leaves out the fact that a big part of the apparent reduction was from misrepresenting social security taxes as revenue, which it isn't. This is money that has to be payed back eventually.


Uhmmm... You straight up lied to make a false point about something you clearly don't have an original thought on. As usual your points are made up ones meant to deceive you, and eventhough this easily provable over and over again you continue to seek information from those deliberately lying to you, whilst attacking those telling you the truth.


Instead of saying it is just fine, and nothing needs to be done - just admit you favor more taxes, and having politicians raid it like a candy store.

SS is broke. As in out of money.

Maybe you would prefer me to call it stupidity? I was trying to be nice.

I see you didn't take my bet - I guess money talks and bullshit walks. Don't let the door hit you on the ass as you are walking out.


As you know it is factually fine, as in totally fine for a long time, maybe even forever.


Whether it's solvent (it's not), or it's broken (it is), the larger issue is whether the federal government belongs in the retirement game. Find me a constitutional scholar that says, "here it is, right here it says that the federal government will assure a solid retirement".

Don't try, you can't find it. The federal government should stick to the authority given to it in the constitution. Period.

SS is another failed socialist program that does not fit well into the framework of a free and democratic republic. I feel extorted from every week when I look at my paystub.

I remember hearing Lieberman say when he was running with algore, that SS is one of the best government programs ever incepted. WTF!! I mean, here's a program where they take forcibly from you, a portion of your paycheck every week. Then they dictate the terms at which when and if you may get that money back! At an embarrassingly paltry return rate!!

SS is easily one of the worst government programs in existence.

The nanny state is growing people. We need to fight it off somehow before we get past the point of no return. Sadly, we may be passed that already.


What the fuck is "factually fine"? Georgie give you a new buzzword?

You are nothing but a pathetic little mouthpiece for the left.

Once again - bullshit walks.