Tuesday, February 01, 2005

787 A blog about the Social Security proposals

It's called "Social Security Choice" and is sponsored by the Club for Growth; you should probably read it even if you don't like what the administration is proposing, just so you can prepare your arguments.

I read something today in the WSJ which made me think SS is probably in worse shape than I originally thought. According to an article by David Wessel, there are 47.7 million Americans receiving benefits--7.9 million are disabled, 6.7 million are survivors, and 33 million are retirees. Of that 33 million, only 20% use Social Security as their only source of income, and 17% of those are disabled. I think this is a smaller number than I've seen before, unless I misunderstood him. I'm not sure why I find that disturbing, but it means very few Americans rely on Social Security now and the rest have voluntarily put other programs in place, just as we have. But the small percentage who are relying solely on SS, then are eligible for other programs like low income housing, food stamps and Medicaid, which may bring them closer to the level of those who have established other plans.

Perhaps what concerns me is the nagging feeling that the government sees that most retirees are already doing what is proposed--we already have "ownership" of our future--so therefore, why not "bless it" and midwife this hodge podge assortment into giving birth to another government program?


murrayT said...

You have touched on one of the many reasons why Bush's plan for individual accounts doesn't make sense. Individual accounts already exist. If he wants to help insure that the common folk have enough for retirement he can just simply increase the amount allowed to invest in IRA's and 401-K's or create another vehicle to accumulate retirement funds. (not with S.S. contributions) Then all he would have to do is raise the ceiling on "contributions" to accomodate all those untaxed millions that are now being enjoyed by the wealthy at the expense of the common folks who pay on 100% of their earnings! You probably noticed that raising the ceiling wasn't one of the possible alternatives in his address last night. Gee, I wonder why? DUH!


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