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Ten Reasons to Change Social Security

Posted on 03/05/2005 2:52:02 PM PST by CHARLITE

I am 54 years old, so I may be grandfathered into today's Social Security. Darn. Just return every penny I paid into it – and I keep what I contribute for the rest of my working life – and call it even. I won't ask for the interest. I know how much my employers and I put in. I figured out how long I must live to get that back, get it back with low interest, and when I start freeloading on younger workers. Change the law so I have what I paid into it – right now in a lump sum. I don't want socialism. I don't want old-age welfare. Even if I become poorer, I'll be freer, and it's better for my children.

C'mon, Congress, at least create alternatives for folks younger than me. Like:

Social Security A: Put your Social Security taxes into your personal savings account, like an IRA/401(k). Make money. Expect nothing from the government unless you go on welfare – called "welfare."

Social Security B: Put some of your taxes into a personal savings account. Expect reduced benefits from the government, but more money (personal savings + smaller Social Security = more money, no matter what).

Social Security C: Put your Social Security taxes in the gaping black hole of government and get reduced Social Security benefits.

Social Security D: Make The People pay to every citizen the retirement that Congress gets - screw the kids!

Here are 10 reasons to change Social Security, even if Congress rejects my four plans.

1. The 1930s Are Over. The socialist Band-Aid to get through the Great Depression is a tourniquet on our future. Let the seniors, who lived in the '30s and '40s, keep their antique. Promises made, promises kept.

2. Lower Benefits Are for Losers. Social Security will spend more money than it brings in by 2018. Lower benefits or raise taxes are the only options. Why should government force you to invest in a loser? Who aspires to be an impoverished Russian pensioner in America?

3. It's Going Bust Anyway. Raising taxes won't float the SS Social Security Titanic and save the Ponzi scheme. The immigration invasion alone may bring more demands on Social Security than illegal cheap labor can fund. No nation has ever taxed itself to prosperity – never.

4. It's One Economy, Stupid. So much of the economy is represented in the stock market that if the stock market fails, the economy fails. If the economy fails, the taxes fail. If the taxes fail, the government fails. The U.S. stock market, since 1790, beats inflation, recession, depression, war and disaster. Separating the economy from the government's money is a Marxist fantasy.

5. Any Investment Is Better. Social Security pays a 1.9 percent return. A person, age 20, who starts work at minimum wage and works minimum wage for their entire life – never gets a single promotion – can invest in government bonds alone and retire making more money than he ever made before.

6. I Can Manage My Money. Government is not my nanny. If we must have mandatory savings, at least let me choose where to invest. Regulations can require enough diversity to avoid an eggs-in-one-basket financial disaster.

7. My Family Gets Nothing. My parents paid max Social Security for all their lives. My dad died at 60 and got nothing. My mother retired after a stroke and every dollar she got from Social Security was deducted from Dad's survivor benefit retirement. If I die now, my kids get nothing – again. My savings should be mine, not the government's, to leave to my family. It's biblical.

8. Entitlements Are Socialist Theft. If everyone, including foreigners who move here at a late age, gets Social Security as an entitlement, then it's just socialism. Socialism is always stealing. Taking from some and giving to others based on nothing but their age, their group identity, is socialism.

9. Make Welfare a Last Resort. We should feel sorry for the person who has nothing but Social Security in their old age. That person will have much more if their mandatory savings grows in a personal savings account. Change the tax laws so communities of family, faith, work and neighbors can share and provide more for the needy. If every safety net fails, then give the desperately poor welfare.

10. Fix Medicare and Medicines Now. Expand the ownership society to include lifelong health and medicine savings accounts.

Get lost, AARP! You don't speak for me.

James Atticus Bowden has specialized in inter-disciplinary long-range 'futures' studies for over a decade. He is employed by a Defense Department contractor. He is a retired United States Army Infantry Officer. He is a 1972 graduate of the United States Military Academy and earned graduate degrees from Harvard University and Columbia University. He holds three elected Republican Party offices in Virginia. Contact at:

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 401ks; accounts; congress; govtbonds; income; personal; privatization; retirement; socialsecurity
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Why can't every adult American see the obvious advantage illustrated by Bowden's arguments for privatizing Social Security?
1 posted on 03/05/2005 2:52:03 PM PST by CHARLITE
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People don't realize that the monies they are being paid under SS today - are NOT THE DOLLARS THEY PUT INTO THE SYSTEM. They are dollars lots and lots of other workers put into the system.

There is no PRIVATE ACCOUNTING of what you put in - there is only an accounting of what you earned on an annual basis - which is what your payout is computed on - it's not computed on how much you put in.

2 posted on 03/05/2005 2:56:09 PM PST by CyberAnt (Pres. Bush: "Self-government relies, in the end, on the governing of the self.")
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Good statement; thanks for posting it. Clear statements like this must be made, thousands of times over, to counter the lies that the Democrats (office holders and members of the press, alike) are peddling to the American people. It will be a long, hard slog, but I think the President will prevail.

Congressman Billybob

Latest column, "Death in a Courtly Manner"

3 posted on 03/05/2005 3:05:03 PM PST by Congressman Billybob ("The truth is out there." Yep, it's on the Internet, but it takes digging, and common sense.)
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Insane System:  "Many people are unaware that the money that is taken out of their paychecks for Social Security is not -- repeat, not -- being put aside to pay for their retirement. That money is paying for people who are retired right now, and anything that is left over is being spent by politicians in Washington for anything from farm subsidies to Congressional junkets. ... Liberals are desperate to keep Social Security the way it is, because that means they can keep spending your money as they see fit and keep you dependent on them. That's what the welfare state is all about." -- Thomas Sowell, HERE
Social Security: Doing Nothing Costs TRILLION$  More
Project on Social Security Choice
Questions for the AARP  Is there a CRISIS?
'Transition Costs' are a Myth
Answering Kinsley's idiocy
Some links on partial privatization
Social Security Quick-Calculator:
just plug in your age and gender
"Your estimated benefits are based on current law.  Congress has made changes to the law in the past and can do so at any time.  The law governing benefit amounts may change because, by 2042, the payroll taxes collected will be enough to pay only about 73% of the scheduled benefits."-- printed at the bottom of page 2 of your Social Security statement

4 posted on 03/05/2005 3:16:25 PM PST by FreeKeys ($100 billion more a year via private Social Security accounts in a $45 trillion stock market is TINY)
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In addition to the 10 facts that were laid out here by the aouthor, why can't Americans--& conservatives, in particular--consider THIS problem regarding Social Security:

Social Security is UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

Where does the Constitution give the federal government the authority to force us into this ponzi scheme? It ain't in there, folks...& I'm embarrassed that my fellow conservatives fail to consider the constitutional question when it comes to how the federal government operates, takes our money, & rules over us. YOU FOLKS SHOULD KNOW BETTER!

5 posted on 03/05/2005 3:25:55 PM PST by libertyman (It's time to make marijuana legal AGAIN!!!)
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Don`t you just love the `Rats dictating about Bush and social security when it was their own God, William J. Clinton who decided to tax it? My mother just started receiving it and she couldn`t beieve it. "This is like taxing me for paying tax!" Maybe if Hitlery weasels her way into the White House by buying votes like she did in her Senate campaign we can expect that as well.

6 posted on 03/05/2005 3:31:50 PM PST by Imaverygooddriver (I`m a very good driver and I approve this message.)
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Anyone who disagrees with this article is an idiot. God help the politicans that stand in the way of fixing this mess.

7 posted on 03/05/2005 3:35:48 PM PST by Recon Dad
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8 posted on 03/05/2005 3:38:44 PM PST by k2blader (It is neither compassionate nor conservative to support the expansion of socialism.)
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To: libertyman; FreeKeys
"Social Security is UNCONSTITUTIONAL."

The problem, however, is close to what an attorney (or judge) would call "settled law." The system has been in place for 3/4ths of a century, so it has come to be accepted as an integral part of the government.

My theory is that Bush & Co. are thinking about the issue in the same way as they are conducting the "liberty for all" issue around the world; - i.e. once people get a taste of real freedom, then tyrannical regimes will fall like dominoes.

Similarly, once Americans realize how much better off they will be, financially, by controlling their own MONEY for their own retirement, they'll flee the meager "benefits" (!!) of this antiquated Social Security system like the proverbial rats leaving a sinking ship. Eventually, Social Security will be obsolete, and American workers will have power over their own futures returned to them.

9 posted on 03/05/2005 3:40:01 PM PST by CHARLITE (Women are powerful; freedom is beautiful.........and STUPID IS FOREVER!)
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To: CyberAnt

The problem with SS is people actually think it's their own money, whether it's witheld from their paychecks or arrives at their door in the form of a check. This belief is encouraged by politicians and leftists.

If people were educated on how it really isn't their money, I think we could get something going here. A thinking person would respond, "It's not my money??! Well, it should be!! I should be free to keep more of my hard-earned money to save for my own retirement!!"

I still like to think most Americans are thinking people. :-)

10 posted on 03/05/2005 3:45:19 PM PST by k2blader (It is neither compassionate nor conservative to support the expansion of socialism.)
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To: k2blader
I don't think people think that they get back their own money. What they say is that they paid in, so they expect benefits.

I can't figure out what kind of a program people think it is. Democrats call it an insurance program. However, insurance does not pay back everyone who pays in. It pays those who have claims, only. Imagine how much your car insurance would go up, if the companies had to refund every old person everything they paid over their lifetimes when they stopped driving. Pretty silly, right?

We don't sit around trying to figure out how to get back the money we have paid on homeowners' insurance. I think most people are glad not to have claims. If people could get sane in this way we could means test beneficiaries and everyone else could be grateful not to be in their situation. Middle class entitlements is something that is unafforable.

11 posted on 03/05/2005 4:03:18 PM PST by ClaireSolt (.)
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Social Security Resource Links

[Community Toolkit]

Generations Together
The looming Social Security crisis affects all Americans. So we need a solution that helps all Americans. As part of the long term plan to fix Social Security, Generations Together supports the introduction of voluntary personal retirement accounts, which can help younger workers build retirement nest eggs, while ensuring that Social Security does not change for seniors and those nearing retirement. By coming together on this issue, we can provide a secure retirement for all generations. Click here to help fix Social Security with Generations Together.

Citizens for a Sound Economy
Citizens for a Sound Economy recruits, educates, trains, and mobilizes hundreds of thousands of volunteer activists to fight for less government, lower taxes, and more freedom. CSE believes individual liberty and the freedom to compete increases consumer choices and provides individuals with the greatest control over what they own and earn.

For Our Grandchildren
The For Our Grandchildren Social Security Education Project is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to raise the awareness and understanding of all Americans regarding the urgent need for Social Security reform and the various options under consideration. The project is dedicated to responsible reform of Social Security, which is only possible if the American people fully understand what is at stake and the impact of various reform options on their families.
Social Security is a grassroots organization providing citizens the tools and information they need to spread the word throughout their communities about Social Security reform. Social Security also assists in efforts to let Congress know how much support already exists for individual accounts.

Heritage Foundation
The Heritage Foundation is a research and educational institute whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.

National Center for Policy Analysis
The National Center for Policy Analysis is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization. The NCPA's goal is to develop and promote private alternatives to government regulation and control, solving problems by relying on the strength of the competitive private sector. Topics include reforms in health care, taxes, Social Security, welfare, criminal justice, education and environmental regulation.

Alliance for Worker Retirement Security
The Alliance for Worker Retirement Security is a broad-based coalition of organizations dedicated to reforming the Social Security system to ensure an adequate retirement income and an opportunity for workers to create personal economic wealth.

United Seniors Association
United Seniors Association is a group for citizen activists who want to cut taxes, safeguard the Social Security trust fund, and improve Social Security and Medicare for all generations. Among other issues, USA is committed to improving Social Security for the next generation with Personal Retirement Accounts, while protecting the benefits of today's seniors and those nearing retirement.

International Center for Pension Reform
As Minister of Labor and Social Security in 1980, José Piñera was the architect of Chile's successful social security reform. Founder and president of the International Center for Pension Reform and co-chair of the Cato Institute's Project on Social Security Choice, Piñera continues to promote the Chilean model of personal retirement accounts around the world.

American Legislative Exchange Council
Founded in 1973, the American Legislative Exchange Council is a bipartisan membership association for conservative state lawmakers who share a common belief in limited government, free markets, federalism, and individual liberty.

Concord Coalition
The Concord Coalition is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization advocating fiscal responsibility while ensuring that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are secure for all generations.

American Enterprise Institute
The American Enterprise Institute for public policy research is dedicated to preserving and strengthening the foundations of freedom-limited government, private enterprise, vital cultural and political institutions, and a strong foreign policy and national defense.

Personal Retirement Alliance
The Personal Retirement Alliance advocates implementation of a retirement program that provides individuals with the option of accumulating retirement savings in individually owned, fully portable, and privately managed personal retirement accounts funded with a portion of their FICA taxes.

Retire Safe
Retire Safe is a grassroots action network promoting dynamic, pro-growth solutions to America's retirement security challenges. This grassroots network consists of all generations of citizens united in the belief that more choice and control over their retirement will produce prosperity for young and old.

Third Millennium
The Third Millennium is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization launched in July 1993 by young adults to offer solutions to long-term problems facing the United States. The site hosts a grassroots initiative to reform the Social Security system.

President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security
On May 2, 2001, President Bush announced establishment of a bipartisan, 16-member commission "to study and report specific recommendations to preserve Social Security for seniors while building wealth for younger Americans." The commission was asked to make recommendations to modernize and restore fiscal soundness to Social Security, using six guiding principles: modernization must not change Social Security benefits for retirees or near-retirees; the entire Social Security surplus must be dedicated only to Social Security; Social Security payroll taxes must not be increased; the government must not invest Social Security funds in the stock market; modernization must preserve Social Security's disability and survivors insurance programs; and modernization must include individually controlled, voluntary personal retirement accounts, which will augment Social Security.

Social Security Administration
This site contains one of the largest and most extensive collections of history-related materials in the federal government, along with extensive detail on the current Social Security system. Included are an institutional history of the Social Security Administration and the history of the Social Security program itself.

National Taxpayers Union Foundation
The National Taxpayers Union seeks to give taxpayers a voice by campaigning against various tax-raising legislation and excess government spending. The NTU believes that by pushing to reform the tax code and monitoring the government's spending trends it can help lessen the burden on tax-paying Americans.

Seniors against Federal Extravagance
Seniors Against Federal Extravagance is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to issues concerning senior citizens. SAFE supports proposals such as individual medical accounts, inclusion of private savings in a revised Social Security system, cutting regulations, and selling some government assets to help pay off the national debt.

-- all from

12 posted on 03/05/2005 4:24:57 PM PST by FreeKeys ($100 billion more a year via private Social Security accounts in a $45 trillion stock market is TINY)
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To: k2blader

There was some gal who called into Rush's program - the first thing she said was, "just send me MY MONEY". I was stunned that she actually believed it was her money and that it was being saved in some account just waiting for her to withdraw it.

The President needs to make this point VERY VERY CLEAR. It does present the MAIN REASON WHY PEOPLE SHOULD WANT TO OWN THEIR ACCOUNT.

Also .. if I should die tomorrow - all that money I put in is just GONE - there is nothing for me to leave to my family.

13 posted on 03/05/2005 4:36:30 PM PST by CyberAnt (Pres. Bush: "Self-government relies, in the end, on the governing of the self.")
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To: libertyman

I think it's considered to piggyback on the 16th amendment -- the IRS collects it just like the IT. (I know, I know, don't tell me that the IT is unconstitutional).

14 posted on 03/05/2005 4:40:03 PM PST by expatpat
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To: ClaireSolt

You're rght, it's not an insurance program. It's a mandatory retirement program. As such, participants expect their 'pension' when they retire.

15 posted on 03/05/2005 4:43:35 PM PST by expatpat
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Wow--someone who gets it. Thanks for posting this article. I'm 51, I'll probably work until I keel over, and I'd happily opt out of Social inSecurity if I could.

16 posted on 03/05/2005 5:00:52 PM PST by pbmaltzman
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We don't need ten reasons although there many more than ten. CHANGE SOCIAL SECURITY! Also AARP can shove off I'm fifty four and i will never join no matter how mch they give me I'll do with out first.

17 posted on 03/05/2005 5:07:38 PM PST by JOE43270 (JOE43270 America voted and said we are One Nation Under God with Liberty and Justice for All.)
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A person, age 20, who starts work at minimum wage and works minimum wage for their entire life – never gets a single promotion – can invest in government bonds alone and retire making more money than he ever made before.

Investing how much, retiring at what age?

18 posted on 03/05/2005 5:12:46 PM PST by Doe Eyes
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To: Doe Eyes
Understanding Compound Interest
     (NOTE:  I am not involved in any investment offerings made or religions extolled in this section; I just like their comments on compound interest.  And yes, one can be kind, benevolent and successful without being a mystic.  More likely, in fact.):
19 posted on 03/05/2005 6:30:58 PM PST by FreeKeys ($100 billion more a year via private Social Security accounts in a $45 trillion stock market is TINY)
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To: Doe Eyes
I sent your question to my friend, James Atticus Bowden about your article, and here is his reply:

"If you make minimum wage $6.25 -- whatever it is - and pay social security on that minimum wage 6.25% for 40 years and the money is invested in government bonds that produce 5% interest (although I think they are up to seven). At the end of 40 years your next egg will be enough ($200k? I don't have the numbers in front of me) to pay you more than 6.25 x 40 hours x 4 wks = one month retirement for as long as you live and the principal can be passed on to your kids. It is the miracle of compound interest. 6.25% savings of minimum wage for 40 years invested at 5% a year = more than minimum wage in retirement forever.

Hope this helps."
James Atticus Bowden
Isaiah 59:21

20 posted on 03/05/2005 7:27:33 PM PST by CHARLITE (Women are powerful; freedom is beautiful.........and STUPID IS FOREVER!)
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