SSDI, Shortfall, Fraud, Privatization
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Social Security debate is getting heated up, again. Recent debate started over a Social Security trustees’ report, highlighting serious issues with Social Security. This report is backed up by real numbers and shows, if nothing is done, the disability insurance face serious cuts in benefits, as early as 2016, and payments to retirees will be subjected to cuts by 2032-2033. You would think that this report from very own trustees of Social Security would raise some serious concerns. The people who are trying to close their eyes from these problems would open their eyes and stop kicking empty can down the road. If you are thinking that way, you are way too optimistic about our politicians and corporate media.
Current debate shows that the report has no significant effects on the full spectrum of debate, so far. It still covers people from the ones who believe that there is absolutely no problem with Social Security to the ones who believe that it is definitively going down the drain. These different points of view can be easily be classified into three major categories:
1. Social Security has no problems.
2. It can be fixed by making certain reforms.
3. System is reaching its ultimate fate and needs to be privatized.
For the first point view, I have to say only one thing. You must be complete idiot to believe that it has not problems. Second group accepts the problems. But, insists that the system is good and must be maintained through reforms. These are the problems with second argument.
1. Crisis in Social security is itself a proof that the system is defective.
2. All the proposed reforms revolve around cutting the benefits or increasing the tax. If you have a closer look at the current demographics of country, political spectrum and media outlets, you can easily realize that any consensus on these issues in nearly impossible. This is the major reason why nothing has been done regarding these issues, so far.
Social Security already dumps about 12.4% of world’s largest and richest GDP into a merely 2% return investment. To be very frank it can hardly be called an investment. The reason is because it is being invested in the securities of a government which has over sixteen trillion dollar debt and which runs over a trillion dollar deficit every year. When Social security runs out of its surplus funds and starts running a deficit, as early as 2016, it will have to make a call on this bankrupting government securities.
If government starts returning money to social security, it has no choice except to borrow, even more. One Ponzi scheme can only be saved by another. This will increase government’s already very high deficits and debt. So, the Social Security administration which is also an agency of same government may decide to make no call and just go for cuts in benefits or increase taxes which is even more unlikely. We, who are already dumping over 12% of our GDP into this mess, cannot afford to increase this dumping to up to 15-16%.
On the other hand, if a complete or partial privatization of social security takes place, Social Security will lose its ability to fully pay its current beneficiaries who have already made lifetime of payments into the system. Government will still have to borrow a lot to make up for this deficit. Do you still believe that people who used to call social security a Ponzi scheme were wrong? The problem is this. Government created this mess, and it should be paying for this. I think the best solution is as follows. It is going to be hard. But this bold step will solve the problem once forever.
All the working people should be given these options:
1. Continue to pay into current system.
2. Pay into alternative private investment options.
3. Opt out to not pay, at all, and take responsibility for their own retirement. They can use, if they want, personal investment portfolios or employer sponsored portfolios for investment. The investment could go into personal businesses, properties, education and training, and anything else.
It is being projected that about 50% Americans will opt out to not pay to government controlled retirement program, at all, if they are provided with a choice to do so. This will boost U.S. GDP with over six percent, immediately. This money will go into consumer buying, start-ups, growth of existing businesses, stock markets, bonds markets and property buying like homes, cars and other stuff. This will create lots of jobs, well over six million. About 33% of Americans are being projected to go for alternative private investments. This will boost GDP by about 2%. Lot more jobs, about two million, will be created and existing businesses will be able to extend their operation and capabilities, resulting into even more jobs creation. About 17% are likely to go with current system. This will continue to provide some revenue to current system. To compensate for about 83% loss in revenue, Social Security will have to call federal government securities, it has been invested in.
To pay back Social Security, government will have to borrow more. But, at least eight percent jump in world’s largest and richest GDP will help government to pay off the current and new debt rapidly. Current problems with retirement are mostly because 12.4% of every working American’s income immediately gets dumped into a very low return system and does little or no good to economy. Availability of a very large proportion of these incomes to personal and private investment portfolios will be huge jump start for economy.
Please, do not get scared by liberal scare tactics. Oh! We cannot afford to lose this safety net, for example. The most basic problem is that this, so called, safety net’s effectiveness is going away. There is no point in closing your eyes from oncoming disaster and kicking the can, even further. Over time the problem will only worsen, as it has been, so far. The cost of fixing Social security has been rising and will continue to rise, if we keep delaying the required action. You cannot depend on politicians and media, for this. Media is too liberal and politicians have to be way too much politically correct. Government has failed us, once again. Take charge of your own destiny and retirement, right now.