T Nation

The BIG Dodge Last Night!

FDR Signing the Social Security Act in 1935

I was looking at my debate notes, and had circled Social Security and put a big red “dodge” beneath it.

Brokaw told both McCain and Obama (paraphrasing) that Social Security was a time-bomb that could dwarf our current crisis if not dealt with.

I sat prepared for an answer and a solution from BOTH candidates.

And they dodged it completely.

Is Social Security a problem so bad that even Politicians are left speechless?

Has anyone, (like maybe Ron Paul) taken a postion on Social Security?



[quote]Don�??t believe for a second that we can grow our way out of the problem through a prosperous economy that yields higher future tax revenues. If present trends continue, by 2040 the entire federal budget will be consumed by Social Security and Medicare alone. The only options for balancing the budget would be cutting total federal spending by about 60%, or doubling federal taxes. To close the long-term entitlement gap, the U.S. economy would have to grow by double digits every year for the next 75 years.

The answer to these critical financial realities is simple, but not easy: We must rethink the very role of government in our society. Anything less, any tinkering or �??reform,�?? won�??t cut it. A good start would be for Congress to repeal the Medicare prescription drug bill.

That’s Paul on the SS issue and the Drug Bill. He knows that the gov’t is writing checks they eventually won’t be able to cash. It scares me that everyone is afraid to take this issue on, fearing the wrath of the old people. It’s going to take a total meltdown before people figure out that the government can’t pay for your retirement. It won’t be pretty.

I think the reality of SS scares most politician – either that or they do not really understand the gravity of the situation. Besides, they will never have to rely on SS so why does it matter to them other than to keep their constituency happy enough to keep them in office?

Tanner at Cato suggests private accounts. Fortunately the Democrats would NEVER allow that, since voters are stupid and really can’t be trusted with their own money.

[quote]Of course we could always raise taxes or cut benefits enough to bring the system into balance. But we would have to raise payroll taxes by roughly 50 percent. Some have suggested removing the cap on income subject to the payroll tax. But while that would be the largest tax increase in U.S. history, $1.3 trillion over the first 10 years, it would increase Social Security’s cash-flow solvency by only seven years.

Worse, tax increases or benefit cuts would do nothing to address Social Security’s other problems. It would not enable workers to decide how their money is invested. It would not allow low- and middle-income workers to accumulate a nest egg of real, inheritable wealth. It would not improve Social Security’s rate of return for younger workers.

A much better approach would be to take advantage of the higher rate of return from private investment by allowing younger workers the option of saving some of their Social Security taxes through personal accounts.

But no matter what, Social Security reform is not an option, but a necessity. All candidates owe it to us to tell us where they stand.