Thursday, March 27, 2008

Fix Social Security - Opt Out

Back in 2005, when Bush couldn't stop yammering about his damned Ownership Society, I published a plan for opting out of social security. Now, with Treasury Secretary Paulson once again warning us about the dire state of the trust fund, it seems like a good time to revive that screed.

You see, all conservatives want to do is privatize the system, thereby creating enormous profits for Wall Street in the form of commissioned 'busy-work'. Liberals, in contrast, don't have the balls to attempt any meaningful reform because 70 million baby-boomers (of which I happen to be the last) will go ballistic at the mere mention of benefit cuts. Indeed, we're all about to have the biggest fraud in human history perpetrated against us, and there's not a damn thing we can do...except: 1) Save for retirement like there will be no social security--because there won't! And/Or... 2) Pay off the boomers now. Because if we don't, that generation will suck the dollars from Gen-X, Gen-Y, Gen-Next, Tweeners, Millenials, and whomever comes after like vampires sucking blood from a maiden.

And how do we pay off the Boomers? Here's how:
  1. Starting with our next paychecks, nobody pays another dime into social security. Moreover, the employer's portion is given to each of us in the form of salary. In return--and this is the kicker--each one of us takes responsibility for making our own parent's social security payments.
  2. Every dollar that we pay to our parents is used to reduce our pre-tax income, 1-for-1.
  3. In addition, over the next 15 years, the Federal government arranges to divert what we've already paid into the system into a retirement account that each of us controls (1/15 of the total amount each year).
  4. The Feds get no say--nada, didly, bupkis--about how we invest, or don't invest, that money, as long as it's held until retirement. And in return we let the Feds keep what our employers have already paid into the system to cover existing retirees.
Will this be a financial loss for post-Boomer Americans? Maybe. But it will pale in comparison to 20 more years (well...20 for me, at least) of contributing to a system that will never pay us a dime. Not to mention the value of never having to hear another administration hack whine about the social security trust fund when we know, WE KNOW, they don't have the cojones to do anything about it.

Basically it boils down to this: I will do what's necessary to make my parents whole, but when they're dead, I want out!


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