Last updated on: 5/10/2017 11:55:25 AM PST

Should Social Security Be Privatized?

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PRO (yes) Comments (31)

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  • +33 +48 -15 Chuck Apr. 28, 2011
    "In all the discussions concerning privatization of Social Security, has anybody ever explained to the American people exactly what the difference between Social Security and privatizing retirement means to them? The 'Median Family' under Social Security will receive a 61% benefit of retirement income. Privatizing the 85% of the Social Security tax earmarked for retirement, earning a 5.19% return on investment, adjusted for inflation, the 'Median Family' would earn 100% of retirement income to age 100. In real money, under Social Security, the 'Median Family' Social Security benefit is $31,224. Under privatization, their retirement income would be $50,913...

    Proponents of Social Security praise the virtues of socialized retirement insurance by reminding us of our civic duty to help the poor. This may have been true in the past, but the facts tell us today that due to the high regressive Social Security tax, lower income families benefit significantly from privatization. For a two minimum wage family, their Social Security benefit will be 77% of their retirement income rather than 100% when privatized."
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    • +3 +3 0 Liam May. 15, 2012
      ""Well think about it, while there may be some benifits for privatizing social security its all a matter of accountability. who says companies have to have retirement plans or for that matter that they have to keep them at the levels you described, corporations are not acountable to the people and are not obligated to keep any promises if it is against their interests to do so. The government is an entity that is suposed to work for the benifit of all and they would be acountable for maintaining social security. if the public did not like what was being done with their social security they at least have the option of replaceing whoever was in office in the next election. With corporations there is no comparable level of accountability""
    • +3 +4 -1 Chuck Martens Sep. 10, 2011
      "Erica, concerning disability, my program never touched disability and only deals with the percentage of FICA taxes directed towards retirement. Having personally seen some people who are on disability and wondering why, I would like to encourage working and support only those who are truly disabled. I believe we need to promote a work ethic and discourage the welfare mentality. I believe privatization promotes that self-determination. Social Security is multilateral financially injurious, punishing the lower incomes in the regressive collection phase, while punishing higher incomes during the progressive distribution phase. Citizens maxing out on their Social Security taxable income will only receive 30% of their retirement income and are left to their own resources to generate the remaining 70% of their retirement income. If security is the issue, why do unfairly subject the higher earners to this unscrupulous system? Please tell me you're not saying lower income earners are less intelligent than upper income earners and need additional federal protection. Finally, I believe it is an indictment of our educational system that we fail to teach the necessary skills of personal finance and responsibility."
    • +3 +3 0 Chuck Martens Jun. 21, 2011
      "If you object to my position, please take the time to reply why you disagree so that I may respond. I have done extensive research on this subject and I welcome every adversarial position, which includes professional interest groups such as AARP. This website is dedicated towards critical thinking and all submissions deserve a response versus a simple dissension vote."
    • +1 +1 0 Connie Jan. 30, 2016
      "What happens when the stock goes down?"
    • +1 +2 -1 JP May. 6, 2014
      "Okay so we give everybody free reign over investing what will become "their money" (because right now the dollars paid into SS from paychecks do not belong to the individual as so many here seem to think - it is not OUR money). And lets just say for argument's sake, that for every 10 retirees, 2 make poor investments, 5 basically break even, 2 perform better than average and 1 excels. Who is going to pay to take care of the 2 screw ups? Whats that you say? Additional taxes to the profits made by the other 8 retirees? Gambling with the stock market is not the answer. Don't know what is, but I definitely know what is not."
    • +1 +1 0 Erica Sep. 8, 2011
      "It is not so much concern about how much low income, or even me, middle income, people could get in return in the long run...I understand that. It is protecting people with disabilities? What happens to those how collect SSI or SSDI due to intellectual disabilities, autism, physical disabilities, mental health disabilties....what happens to them if we privatize? nobody talks about that. In addition, what would keep companies from acting as predators on people who are not educated or understand investment. there would have to be SOOOOO much local education in communities. It is a scary notion for people who are overwhelmed just to get by day to day to also find a safe place to invest their future."
    • 0 0 0 Bibi Jun. 30, 2011
      "How many of us live to be 100 ?"
    • -4 +1 -5 Malik walker Jan. 6, 2012
      "That`s a very good point, but the poor can't give up 77% of their pay check to put into a savings account years before they use it. The poor needs their money now. I personally don't like the idea of privitzing social security because social security is just puting you money into an account when you can do that on your own. You should be able to get the benfits of socail security and interest of a saving accounts,"
  • +10 +15 -5 Brian Hall Oct. 27, 2012
    "Social Security should be privatized because the current system is a Ponzi scheme that is not sustainable. All surpluses in the fund have been and will be spent by Congress rather than to build up the resources of of Social Security. It has always been a wealth transfer scheme, using the resources of the young to pay the old. Now with less working contributors, the system is "upside/down". Better to have each person set aside money to provide for his/her own future. Alll past surpluses were squandered in the General Fund and were a hidden income tax. Time to revise the system to provide more accountability to the tax payers."
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  • +10 +20 -10 Chuck Martens Sep. 17, 2011
    "Mathematically, SS no longer works. The "Median Family Retired" SS benefit is $31,224. The "Median Family" pays $6045 into SS for retirement. The current worker to retiree ratio is approximately 3 to 1 which yield a total payroll collection of $18,135 for every $31,224 going out in benefits. The only solution I've heard from pro SS advocates is to raise someone else's taxes and/or cut someone else's benefits. There is not one SS advocate who offers to cut their own benefits or raise their own taxes. Although financial decomposing of SS appears to be the primary focus to privatizing SS, it certainly isn't the only issue. SS punishes lower income earners through high regressive collection taxes, punishes high income earners with a progressive lower benefit, racially discriminates against minorities who statistically die earlier than white people, gender discriminates against men who statistically die younger than women and has a pathetic compensation program for the surviving spouse. To what point must other people suffer until the SS advocate has the courage to manage their own finances?"
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    • +2 +2 0 James May. 15, 2012
      "It's unfortunate that the shortened form of social security is SS."
    • +1 +4 -3 Mandy Nov. 23, 2011
      "That's why I advocate SS. There are too many who don't manage their own finances, and many who do manage their finances well but get disabled. These people become impoverished, becoming a social burden that have to be addressed anyway. Their children also become a social burden because they are malnourished or have to drop out of school to bring home the family's lost income and also take care of their disabled parent. And where are these children to find a job if they are underaged? They get pulled in by drug-dealers. These children will go to jail, joining the millions others who were put in there due to the already existing inequality in our laws that put the disadvantaged in jail but let white collar crimes go free as well as get a bonus."
    • 0 0 0 d jones Apr. 24, 2015
      "There is and always will be enough money to cover workers, provided their jobs aren't shipped overseas. When is Congress going to repay the surplus they STOLE?"
  • +6 +8 -2 John Garland Jan. 8, 2013
    "Its my money and I should be able to invest it and keep an eye on it myself. I don't need the government to babysit me."
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  • +5 +15 -10 Jeff Bates Oct. 24, 2011
    "I retired from the Social Security Administration in 2002 It is without doubt the largest money waster in our Federal System. There are GS-12s earning over %100,000.00 per year doing the most menial of tasks, such as putting fresh flowers on the directors desk, and surfing the internet for countless hours. This organization needs supervision in the worst kind of way, as it is out of control."
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  • +5 +13 -8 Edmund Williams Aug. 7, 2011
    "Federal Employees have privatized social security, have you ever seen a federal employee retire into poverty?"
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    • +1 +1 0 anonymous May. 7, 2013
      "Yes. Certain Federal Employees cannot withdraw from social security, depending on how long they were a federal employee. Their retirement benefits operate on a privatization method already. Sometimes that privatization fails. More often than not, it works better than social security. The best reason why it works is federal workers have control over where they want their benefits to go."
  • +5 +17 -12 Jerrold Apr. 28, 2011
    "1. The argument that privatization of ss individuals would be at the mercy of unscrupulous brokers. Have it go into an untouchable private interest bearing savings account only.

    2. We do not need 1 central agency to oversee it. IT'S OUR MONEY...."
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    • +3 +3 0 Chuck Martens Jun. 17, 2011
      "I applaud your position, but the facts indicate that it will require a return greater than one would expect in any interest bearing account. To protect the value of money, all investments must be indexed to inflation. If one gets a 3% return and the inflation rate is 5%, one has physically more money, but they have lost 2% buying power. The government currently issues inflationary sensitive bonds which are currently trading at 0% plus the current inflation rate. Some monies will have to be exposed to markets to achieve the required results. In a conservative balanced portfolio, a person would have a certain percentage of their portfolio in equities with the remainder in other asset classes for both growth and protection. Typically these portfolios would be realigned once a year. Using the crash of 2008, a balanced portfolio would not only have protected the value of the account, but would have provided a great buying opportunity. In addition, with a portion of a balanced portfolio containing US Securities, the national security risks of having foreign governments owning too much of our debt will be reduced. Americans will own America."
  • +5 +16 -11 Mark Apr. 28, 2011
    "Ultimately, the current system is insolvent and unsustainable. A number of years ago, in my law school class on income taxation, the professor was getting very excited over whether social security should conceptually be included as 'income' to those retirees receiving it. He could not seem to understand why the class was not excited about this issue. Being young and obnoxious, I asked a question of the class -- would everyone who expects to receive social security in their lifetime raise their hands. The only one who raised a hand was the teacher ... and he was within a couple of years of retirement at the time. Social security was never intended to be the primary source of retirement income. The fact that social security funds are 'invested' in US Treasury securities is a croc ... the reality is that politicians have already spent the money or the US Treasury would not have to issue the bonds or other securities in the first place. Partial privatization would be a huge boon and long-term should help the financial prognosis of the so-called 'trust' funds."
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    • 0 0 0 d nones Apr. 24, 2015
      "So because our govt. Has ripped off the money, we need to put citizen at more risk"
  • +4 +6 -2 Priscilla Feb. 8, 2013
    "Lately, I have become aware of spouses who cannot get the deceased spouse's SS benefits, especially if the living spouse has his/her own SS. The living spouse can get a portion of the deceased spouses benefits if he/she continues to get their SS; or they can get all of the deceased spouses benefts, if the living spouse chooses not to receive their own benefts. Because one spouse died early, the living spouse is then left with a significantly reduced income and standard of living. So, I have a concern about people having the control to determine who gets their benefits if they die early. What happens to the deceased spouse's benefits upon death? Where does it go? It's as if the deceased spouse's benefits go into some kind of black hole or something. Yet, money was taken from this person throughout his/her work life for SS that they, nor their living spouse or other heirs cannot beneft from if they are 18 or older. It's just something inherently unrighteous and unfair about such a system. I would prefer to have the money that's being taken from me for SS, and determine what to do with it myself."
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  • +4 +9 -5 Dave Oct. 19, 2012
    "Those against privatizing SS based on risk (as it relates to funds in financial market), seem to minimize or completely miss the risk to SS run by the US. Our country is not without default and bankruptcy risk, and it is increasingly on par with the risk to private organizations. Our debt could create a Lemhan Brothers scenario for the entire country. Public SS is simply not without a high level of risk."
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  • +4 +10 -6 Luke Mar. 14, 2012
    "SS is screwed. We need to either raise the age or privatize it. In 1935 the average person lived on SS for 3 years. Now the average person lives on SS for 13. Something needs to change."
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  • +4 +14 -10 jdog Sep. 6, 2011
    "Its my money and if i die i want it as part of my estate."
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  • +4 +14 -10 Sgt. DS Apr. 28, 2011
    "I am dependant on SSD for my livelihood... I believe that SSI SHOULD be privatized if only to take it's Slush Fund's availability out of the hands of the Good Old Boys in the House and Senate. Let them try to live on $1000 a month without Food Stamps... Let them decide which meds they are not going to take this month... Social Security was built to help Americans when they could no longer work. It is not my fault that the Boomers out-number the amount of people necessary to keep them in semi-poverty. I am most certain that any kind of privatization will be subject to the same greed and corruption that follows the system now but what the Hell; let's give some smarter people a shot."
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  • +3 +8 -5 David May. 19, 2012
    "When the Social Security Insurance was created, it was the right thing to do. America had seen its elderly without any means to support themselves because they did not plan for their retirement. Republicans "hate" to use the word Mandate but if we already mandated to give almost 7% to FICA and the employers are mandated to give almost 7%, I would rather it be in a PRIVATE account that will give us a better return, still give us a disability benefit, allow for a death beneifit to heirs and cut 500 billion off the Federal Books running a program that can change by the whim of congress. The program just can't be allowed for gambling on individual stocks. 50% T bills, 25% AAA bonds and 25% mutual funds should be good enough to return 5% a year instead of the paultry 1% now and the 500 billion in wasted tax dollars running the program. The government has been using this money and its time to stop!!"
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  • +3 +8 -5 Daniel Patel Jan. 25, 2012
    "If we privatize Social Security it will help alot of things. Social Security Takes money away from people who need to live. If we privatize we can give people the choice of whether or not they want it. Bill Gates doesnt need Social Security so why does he pay for it?"
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    • 0 0 0 Thomas Bender Sep. 4, 2015
      "The US government gave thousands of acres to immigrants in the early founding of this country, the biggest social program in the world. Bill Gates needs to pay social security on all his earning to provide for the common good, Social Security. The redistributian of wealth to the 1% richest Americans happenned during the eight years of the Bush administration. The wealthy we have today make the wealthy that built the mansions in Newport, like Carnegie, Rockerfellar etc. look like paupers."
  • +3 +14 -11 anonymous Sep. 17, 2011
    "i want to control my own money"
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    • 0 +1 -1 anonymous Dec. 4, 2011
      "WOW!! Someone out there thinks the same way I do!!
      THANK YOU!!"
  • +1 +1 0 SHIRL Mar. 1, 2016
    "Cut Social Security? People that receives it can't make ends meet now!"
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  • +1 +2 -1 Andrea Burton Mar. 4, 2015
    "The money paid into Social Security from wage earners can benefit them in events of injury leading to disability, retirement (retirement benefits for both wage earner and dependent children), and death (survivors benefits). Although Social Security is a retirement income program, this program includes important features for the younger population; such as wage earners disability insurance policy worth more than $200,000 on the private market, 98% of children in America are insured against the loss of a parent, and Social Security provides the equivalent of $500,000 in life insurance (Moody & Sasser, 2015, pg. 377).


    Moody, H. R; Sasser, J. R. (2015). Aging: Concepts and Controversies; 8th Edition. Controversy 09; pg. 377. SAGE Publications, Inc.: California"
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  • +1 +2 -1 Jesse May. 21, 2014
    "yes only if you are able not required to invest yourself. and it should be up to you to invest how much of your benifits leaving any remainder to the SSI to deal w/."
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  • +1 +2 -1 Colten Oct. 28, 2013
    "Pro-choice. There should be both readily available to consumers."
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  • +1 +10 -9 F.H. Apr. 28, 2011
    "The only basis I could ever see for a so-called 'privatized' system would be individual accounts of withheld Social Security assets under professional managers, similar as with the typical 401k. Such managers would operate under severe risk limitations.

    Certainly, I could never envision such accounts managed by individual citizens, each taking essentially random 'potshots' at the Market. Individuals might have choices with their individual accounts, perhaps in percentage withheld or investment types, but within strict limitations.

    Even with such limitations, and lacking 'matching' with outside funds, it seems to me that it would be difficult not to surpass the present system.

    Self-styled 'progressive' politicians (Democrats) will immediately object to individual accounts because it prevents them from redistributing wealth as easily. I would say, that making legislative legerdemain more visible, in any case is greatly to be desired.

    Also, I have to believe that individual Social Security accounts would translate into most citizens taking much more 'ownership' of their own American citizenship, including the responsibilities thereof, especially voting - again, a much desirable result."
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  • 0 +2 -2 Ted Transue Sep. 4, 2015
    "Social Security is a giant Ponzi scheme. Why not something between the two alternatives. State pension funds are managed and invested(i.e. CALPERS) by professional managers at state direction. They yield somewhere around 6% annually over time. What would that do to SS. In addition I believe it was/is called Social Security INSURANCE. Use it like insurance and means test it."
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  • 0 +1 -1 d jones Apr. 24, 2015
    "Why is surplus being taken out to begin with and NOT paid back, Ronald Reagan?"
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  • 0 +3 -3 Vincent Mortensen May. 21, 2014
    "People were able to take care of themselves just fine before 1935 in the United States. Let's take some monetary pressure off the government and make ourselves do some work by worrying about our own accounts."
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    • +1 +1 0 Thomas Bender Sep. 4, 2015
      "One in four 20 year old males will be disabled before they reach retirement. How do you plan for that? You can't. Scrap the cap. People did not take care of themselves before social Security.They ended up with no income, no housing, no food, and completely without hope."
  • 0 +3 -3 jason Dec. 10, 2013
    "it should be privatized because we will have more money for us after we retire and the government wont be able to take money out of the the social security fund and they dont have to pay it back the government has taken alot of money out of ss and they are not paying it back at all not even the interest that by law they have too pay so they are getting away with not paying it back so theyll take more and more til we have no money in it and they will have to bail out the ss funds so ya i want my money going to a private account or theyll take it all"
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  • 0 +3 -3 Brian Bebel Oct. 25, 2013
    "I don't mind if the government takes my money as long as they give it back. Unfortunately, due to government officials (like Obama) spending left and right we are in a ridiculous amount of debt. Due to the government's mistakes, it is likely that the tax I pay on social security will never be returned in full or not at all. Social Security was originally made to help people, not for the government to use as spending money."
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    • +1 +2 -1 Ryan Nov. 5, 2013
  • 0 +8 -8 Austin Smith Jan. 18, 2012
    "Becuse it would 1) secure my retirement 2) make the GDP grow by about 3-5% every year 3) make 10 to 20 trillion $ers"
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  • -3 +6 -9 A Oct. 7, 2011
    "The Con's argument is more for a big brother approach. That little brother if left to his own devices won't be able to control his finances. We are a capitalist society and have been successful by the smart augmentation of private enterprise. At the present time the Government has done a awful, terrible job trying to make a broken system work. It is time to take it out of the hands of Government and put the money to work with people who know how to handle money...and that expertise is way beyond the government know how."
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  • -4 +6 -10 Steven Rappolee Jan. 7, 2012
    "I would partially privatize the system by investing a carbon tax in a social security sovereign wealth fund invested in world capital markets.

    $ 200 Billion per year in carbon taxes divided by 4 million births equals $50,000 per new born child."
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  • -4 +5 -9 Marge Nowicki Nov. 2, 2011
    "Why can't Social Security be operated the same as the public state and federal pension systems? Social Security money would no longer be loaned to the Federal Government. The money would be invested similarly to the public pensions systems. If more money is needed for the fund, politicians would not be making the decisions."
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  • -5 +9 -14 Chris Dannenfeldt Aug. 21, 2011
    "Those who say that Social Security is not in a financial crisis are either lying to you or unaware of the facts.

    To understand the flaw in the system let's look at some numbers. We will assume that you earn $3,000 per year and that your and your employer are contributing the current OASDI tax rate of 6.2% each (for a total of 12.4%) of payroll. That is $372/mo. @ 8% return for 40 years would equal $1,156,428 in your account. Your contributions would have been $372/mo x 12 mo x 40 years or $178,560. The difference of roughly $1,000,000 was the interest you earned on those deposits over the 40 years. A safe 5% withdrawal rate (accepted by most financial experts) would yield $4,818 per month.

    The problem is...the government spent the money the day they took it in and DID NOT invest the money for you. The current debt ceiling crisis PROVES that there is no trust fund and your earnings and principal do not exist. YOUR CURRENT SOCIAL SECURITY CHECK WILL $1,300/mo and the government has stolen $3,500 per month from your retirement by mismanagement. Those same dollars could bo into a GUARANTEED retirement vehicle similar to what most teachers have and the time is NOW to find a way to convert to a private, guaranteed system!"
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    • 0 +2 -2 juniorhighgrad Nov. 23, 2011
      "1. You changed your unit of measure from "per year" to "per month." To be mathematically correct, the $3000 per year income in your example would earn you only $372 per year, not per month as you say. This is either a blatant deception or you failed junior high math. And then you continue with more mathematical lies.
      2. Where are you getting this high 8% interest rate for the past decade, never mind for all of 40 years?
      3. Your portfolio would be worth $0 if you were to retire now. You would have lost every penny you've put into it for the past 40 years.
      I think you and anyone who believes what you propose should be barred from voting and go back to 7th grade."

CON (no) Comments (48)

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  • +9 +26 -17 A. Apr. 28, 2011
    "Privatizing Social Security means that it would no longer be secure. Consider the companies in the private sector who administered retirement funds that went down the drain in our recent financial melt down. Security for the funds can only be realized with the backing of the government."
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    • +3 +6 -3 Chuck Martens Jun. 10, 2011
      "With Standard and Poor's issuing a warning about the US debt, with Moody's issuing a debt warning, with Gold and all other commodities making all time highs, with the dollar sinking against all major world currencies, with China and other countries talking about developing another world currency to replace the US dollar as the world currency and the Social Security Administration publishing that as of 2037, the payroll taxes collected will only cover 78% of the benefits promised, I am amazed anyone would feel comfortable with their money being managed by a government that can't produce a budget. For those who don't understand money and how to manage money, they need to learn these economic essentials sooner than later. The cradle to grave nanny state cannot sustain itself and those who don't learn how to survive can consider themselves hopeless victims."
    • -2 +3 -5 Liam May. 15, 2012
      "To Chuck. Social Security was by no means intended to be a mechanism for people to live completely off of, it is meant as a safety net for older people. So of course the net has holes in it, but that's because it was never intended to completely cover everyone's needs. The government still leaves seniors room to provide for their own retirement and offers social security as a back up not as a sole benefit."
  • +7 +8 -1 Tracy Oct. 29, 2014
    "This is just another way they can get their hands on money from a governmental program that actually works, and has been successful from the beginning. Anytime the government is actually helping it's citizens survive like it is supposed to do, the plutocrats can't stand it, and want to get their greedy, already filthy rich hands on the peoples money. Bush and Cheney are the last people on earth to listen to. Leave social security alone it is no where near collapse, but will be, if you let the money mongers in. It IS successful and that is why they what to get their greedy little hands on others money. They are NOT worried about you, you can rest assured of that. And never will be."
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    • 0 0 0 robert emswiler Nov. 7, 2014
      "You're probably correct. I'm guessing that Wall Street folks are licking their chops at how much of your money they could take if they could just get their hands on your social security contributions. I think congressmen who advocate privatizing social security have rationalized that the idea gets better and better as their campaign donations from Wall Street get larger and larger."
  • +6 +6 0 Muir Woods Sep. 4, 2015
    "We already have a government-regulated. privatized retirement system in the form of IRAs, 401(k)s and a myriad of other programs that encourage workers to save for a better retirement than would otherwise be provided by Social Security alone.

    Given that, and the fact that a pay-as-you-go insurance system like SS is inherently counter-cyclical, and operates automatically in case of a financial crisis without the invention of our often-paralyzed Congress, further privatization of the system is likely to make the economy more unstable in the future, and the lives of our seniors worse.

    Then, there's the idea of diverting even more of the financial resources of our nation to Wall Street. Given the skill and ethics with which they've acted in the past, can anyone in good conscience support this?"
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  • +5 +6 -1 robert emswiler Nov. 7, 2014
    "Social Security is insurance. Private accounts are investments. Two different concepts. Notwithstanding that insurance is the more efficient way to fund retirement, workers already have ways to invest for their retirement - namely 401(k) and IRA accounts.

    I am 70 years old, and I have an IRA. Is there enough money there? I don't know. If I were to die within the next two years, then there is plenty of money in my IRA. On the other hand, if I were to live another 20 years, there is probably not enough in my IRA. I do know this - there is either more than I need, or less than I need. Everybody either depletes their retirement savings before they die, or they do not, i.e. their beneficiaries inherit the IRA. But actuaries can calculate the exact amount workers as a group need to save so that the group has exactly enough for retirement. Insurance (Soc Sec) manages the uncertainty of how much to save. Nobody wants to sacrifice current consumption by saving too much. Nor does anyone want to sacrifice future consumption because they saved too little. If you are fortunate to live long enough to retire, your Soc Sec will last exactly as long as it needs to, and no longer."
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  • +4 +10 -6 B. Kuenzel Sep. 5, 2012
    "The average American has neither the time and/nor the knowledge to successfully invest their surplus money, if they even have any in this economy. "Certified Financial Planners" are expensive and some quite dishonest as spoken from personal experience. Setting up a privatization plan would be very costly. A quick, inexpensive, helpful fix could be to eliminate the Social Security tax ceiling while keeping the the percentage rate as it is now."
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  • +3 +4 -1 Bill Sep. 4, 2015
    ""Privatization" is code for turning a non-profit for-the-people benefit into a for-profit enterprise for capitalists. I vehemently oppose privatization."
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  • +3 +7 -4 Phil Aug. 2, 2014
    "The transition costs of continuing to pay recipients while private accounts are established could run into the trillions. Most investors do not have returns equal to the market because they get out when things are bad and go in when conditions are more positive. Private accounts would limit funds for government borrowing and cause more borrowing from sovereign countries and financial institutions instead of ourselves. We already have private account options with IRAs and workplace savings."
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  • +3 +19 -16 Bill Apr. 28, 2011
    "The United States was originally created as a constitutional republic, however it has gradually became a corporate republic...

    Should Social Security, the veteran’s services and other governmental agencies be Privatized? Answer: NO.

    There already exists an elite few who control this country thru their powerful corporation.

    Think about it: Which corporation gives our elected officials who support privatization of Social Security as well as other governmental services the most money to support their agenda of privatization of the government, by means of campaign contributions?...

    More importantly, think about why the Government has taken it upon themselves to redefine the government from being a Constitutional republic to that of a federal corporation."
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  • +2 +2 0 Dart Armstrong Sep. 4, 2015
    "Commercializing of higher education, SS, Medicare...and on and on. People have not recognized of the attempt in every which way to make public goods into private gains--for many decades...Recognition of this tend requires close scrutiny by citizens, media and even paid -off and fully bought politicians"
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  • +2 +3 -1 Brad Jul. 15, 2015
    "SSI has been successful at eliminating poverty among our elderly and disabled and is still solvent for well into future, there is no crisis if we make simple changes now to keep it intact for another generation. Why make drastic and risky changes that really no one can foresee, its already time tested and everything must be done to preserve it in its current form."
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  • +1 +1 0 jo Oct. 3, 2015
    "All the government has to do is removed the limit of money goes into social security when you reach one hundred and ten thousand dollars millionaire and big companies stop paying into the program removed the cap so that we alll keep paying in social security and the problem solved i know that the government won't do that because the big corporation pay to much for lobbying for it to stay the way it is i oppose privatization of social security"
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  • 0 0 0 M. R. Decker Jan. 25, 2017
    "Social Security will not be "security" if the proposed changes are implemented. One concern I have not seen mentioned is my sense that the vast majority of Americans would not be able to design and manage the development of the personal fund that is described. Even some of the most educated people are not fluent in money management. Others would have difficulty keeping their hands off it just like the Congress which has "borrowed" from S,S, in the past.

    I also foresee the rise of a whole new bureaucracy of financial planners that would be required to help the "average Joe" manage his portfolio and suck more money out of his pocket.

    Remove the cap on Social Security withholding, which would help keep Social Security solvent. If the wealthy can draw S.S. benefits, it makes no sense that their deductions should be a much smaller proportion of their wealth than the average person"s."
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  • 0 0 0 Loretta Barnes Jan. 17, 2016
    "When employee pays into social security now their employers match that amount. So if it is privatized will employers still match their employees investment.
    Does privatization mean an employer is no longer a part of the investment program like they are for social security ?"
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  • 0 +1 -1 Moni Smith Sep. 24, 2015
    "It may seem like a good idea to have everybody pay for their own social security, but that's a preposterous idea. People are living their day-to-day lives, and looking forward to the year that they don't have to work anymore. Atleast, that's most of us. It would be unimaginable to have that agreement retracted. People are working in order to earn the benefits that the government has promised. Most families rely heavily, if not completely on the social security checks supplied by the government to their homes monthly. If they couldn't receive this support, they would be forced to work until the day they died. Now, no one like the thought of working working Gramgram to the literal bone, so obviously it couldn't be completely abolished. It's obviously draining our government of it's own money though, and I think we'd much less rather have everyone living in poverty because we can't buy or sell anything. So there need to be reforms to the policy. It makes no sense to erase it completely, but if we tweaked it a bit, made the age a little bit older, and made it so that people didn't receive as much at first, but that it got exponentially higher, then maybe we could get out of this conundrum."
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  • 0 +1 -1 Nannette Hart Sep. 24, 2015
    "I am strongly against privatizing Social Security. It would only increase profits for big corporations"
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  • 0 +1 -1 Tim Sep. 5, 2015
    "Part of the problem is the choice of corporate boards to distribute smaller and smaller percentages of profits to the labor that helps produce the profits. Wages rising with productivity would go a long way toward putting more money in the trust fund. Companies need to invest in capital, and pay dividends to stock holders, but they have unduly suppressed wages, and this contributes to the problem of adequately funding social security. People who make enough money can afford private retirement accounts now. I agree with those who point out that low-income earners are likely to be exploited by a privatization scheme. My grandmother lost her private pension in the crash of 1929. Wall Street is always pushing for a return to the rules of the 1920s. People are forgetting the historical context of the creation of Social Security, and they are erroneously believing that economic crashes like that can never happen again. Our tendencies are heading us in that direction."
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  • 0 +1 -1 Andrea Burton Mar. 4, 2015
    "Social Security is funded by payroll taxes to a large account called the Social Security Trust Fund that's designed to operate as a modified pay-as-you-go system where the money collected yearly is mostly paid for people who receive benefits in the same year; however, younger wage earners do not actually save up for their own Social Security benefits, for which they pay for current beneficiaries (Moody & Sasser, 2015, pg. 379).


    Moody, H. R; Sasser, J. R. (2015). Aging: Concepts and Controversies; 8th Edition. Controversy 09; pg. 379. SAGE Publications, Inc.: California."
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  • 0 +2 -2 Tracy Oct. 29, 2014
    "What it will take to just set up private accounts money wise clearly out weighs the pros, in this one instance."
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  • 0 +3 -3 Tracy Oct. 29, 2014
    "Plain NO, and president Bush is the LAST PERSON on EARTH to listen to."
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  • 0 +2 -2 harold.hensel Oct. 22, 2014
    "Would the employer still contribute half in matching funds to private Social Security accounts?"
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  • 0 +2 -2 LeRoy Matthews Sep. 2, 2014
    "Safety net???
    The so-called "U.S. government" has an OFFICIAL Debt of over $17.6 Trillion, & Going Up.
    Experts, such as Economics Professor Laurence Kotlikoff of Boston University, say that their ACTUAL Debt is over $235 Trillion, & Going Up.
    There's virtually ZERO $ for anything whatsoever.
    Politicians all over the world are having SEVERE Budget Problems."
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    • 0 0 0 Tom Sep. 4, 2015
      "Your Social Security is secured by Government Bonds and while it is a debt it still is the best bonds you can get. The Chinese and other nations would not buy these same bonds if they were not good.Your arguement or spin has no merit."
  • 0 +3 -3 ginger Jul. 28, 2014
    "all I know is that I have worked for 40 years and I have paid into social security for the same amount of time. I and people like me erned this and if the gov. messes with it they are hurting the old people and maybe they just want to die."
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  • 0 +2 -2 John farren May. 11, 2014
    "First of all, let's address the biggest issue surrounding Social Security- the 2.9 Trillion IOU from the government. What the folks like Paul Ryan are advocating is for the government to default on its obligation to the millions of individuals who have paid into the system. Almost 18% of our current $17 Trillion deficit is related to social security debt obligations. This excludes interest earned on that debt. Social security isnt going broke, its that the government is now trying to walk away from its debt obligation from its biggest lender- the US taxpayer."
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    • 0 0 0 d jones Apr. 24, 2015
      "Exactly. There will be revolution if it goes private"
  • 0 +4 -4 suzanne brown Jan. 17, 2014
    "every time something is privatized it goes badly for consumers. Corporations get richer and the public suffers."
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  • 0 +8 -8 Middle Class Life Aug. 13, 2012
    "The main problem with Privatization is greed In New York city the City workers collected coins from the parking meters and they never lost a dime. when New York under Koch privatized the collecting of coins to save money and they lost millions the first year to theft. With proposed deregulation of wall street far back beyond the crash, we'll have more Ponzi schemers like Bernie Madoff ripping people off for their retirement money. Privatization a scheme that works for the wealthy and not the middle-class just like the banks lending depositor money and paying them pennies. With deregulations they can pay out what they please, and they make money whether we win or lose. It is just one more scheme where money hungry individuals who have more than they could ever spend trying to squeeze the middle-class for all they can get and that includes ending public education so we can pay to use the schools they own. It's always about getting the middle-class dollars into theri hands."
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  • 0 +12 -12 Liam May. 15, 2012
    "Well think about it, while there may be some benifits as Chuck said for privatizing social security its all a matter of accountability. who says companies have to have retirement plans or for that matter that they have to keep them at the levels chuck described, corporations are not acountable to the people and are not obligated to keep any promises if it is against their interests to do so. The government is an entity that is suposed to work for the benifit of all and they would be acountable for maintaining social security. if the public did not like what was being done with their social security they could at least replace whoever was in office. With corporations there is no comparable level of accountability"
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    • +3 +3 0 Chuck Martens Jul. 1, 2012
      "When I discuss privatization, I am not proposing one's employer manage their SS contributions, of which only 85% or 10.54% of one's gross income are directed towards retirement. From reading the arguments for SS, there is apparently a great financial opportunity managing the day to day finances of those who are incapable of managing their own. I never realized so many people want to live on a weekly allowance based upon how someone else prioritizes their needs. The argument that SS was always intended to be a supplemental retirement fund: while that may have been true when the government was collecting the originally mandated 2%, that argument is lost when one realizes the government is now collecting a full retirement premium of 10.54%. The discussion of SS has transcended from the philosophical to a mathematical. Please do yourself a favor and go the SS website. As of 2033, SS will only collect 78% of the revenue required for projected benefits."
  • -1 0 -1 wendell lee grigsby Dec. 3, 2016
    "I am against privatizing Social security. I'm 76 years old, and have paid into social security since I was fourteen years old. I've never drawn a dime of unemployment, I think this shows that I have contributed too ss for 62 years, without any lapse. I hate to think that the Republicans will screw the seniors. Sad!!!!!"
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  • -1 0 -1 rich Nov. 29, 2016
    "Go ahead and invest in privatizing ss. When the stock market crashes again like it did under Bush, see how much you have left. If you were close to retiring back then and it would have been privatized, the people would have lost their shirts on their backs. The people who want to privatize social security are the ones who care less if they have any savings at all. I for one being on disability depend on my monthly check in order to survive. Just think if an emergency came up in your life and social security was not there, what would you do? You would probably have to dip into you account and would also be taxed if you did."
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  • -1 +10 -11 Chuck Mooss Sep. 10, 2011
    "The investment and corporate communities are not to be trusted to work in the public interest. Any potential future shortfalls can be quickly eliminated by having people with incomes over $250k in retirement years give their social security and having corporation hire domestically rather than offshore."
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  • -3 +3 -6 francis dillion Nov. 1, 2012
    "if vote this people in and they do what ever they want.
    they kinda like what romney wanting to do"
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  • -3 +3 -6 james morgan Nov. 1, 2012
    "we the people paid ss in.we should have the say.what to do with it"
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  • -3 +3 -6 Jeanette Oct. 4, 2012
    "I think it is wrong.... I would not want myharding working money to be jeopardize within the stock market KNOWING that I can lose it all....LEAVE IT THE WAY IT IS!!!!"
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  • -3 +4 -7 maria facenda Aug. 19, 2012
    "When Social Security began in 1935, the contributions of 17 workers paid for the benefits of one retiree. In 2035 the estimated ratio will be 2.1 workers per beneficiary.

    Workers pay into the Social Security system and receive benefits when they become eligible. Social Security does not maintain individual savings accounts per worker, but operates as a pay-as-you-go system in which each generation of workers supports the preceding generation's retirees

    The workforce is declining , due to computers and all this New technology that is taking over the jobs of people that once contributed to Social Security. replacing workers with automated -tellers and customer service, money swallowing vending machine, ticket vending machines in the airport, theater,subway ect. ect.,
    Then we look to create Jobs
    Let the companys who are using non human employees contribute to the Social Security system for each replaced human, each and every system that operates a human role should pay their fair share."
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  • -5 +3 -8 S Nov. 12, 2012
    "Administrative costs too high in private sector.
    Risk is high and owned entirely by the individual. If their private accounts fails to deliver returns, what will happen? Person on their own, or government will have to step in and take care of them. This could lead to high unexpected government costs or dead seniors.
    Private sector administration of finances is not trustworthy.
    Cost of developing private accounts will deplete existing SS trust fund.
    Requires financial investment expertise from public that in many cases does not exist nor can be taught."
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  • -5 +13 -18 Terri May. 9, 2011
    "Given the fluctuation of the stock markets, privatizing SS doesn't make sense.

    What I think should be done is 1) either raise the income cap for FICA or remove it altogether; Pass a bill that makes it illegal to take money from the SS fund for anything else.

    If you want a private fund, there are IRA's. In fact, they have been around for a long time.

    Social Security is still needed."
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    • +2 +2 0 Chuck Martens May. 21, 2011
      "The argument of market fluctuations contributing to inappropriate retirement planning illustrates an economic naivety with an underlying hypocrisy. The author needs financial education how a balanced portfolio can provide growth and protection with additional research of the Social Security benefits schedule. On your second position, how about restructuring Social Security without raising someone else's taxes? If it is the commission of Social Security to mandate a universal 'retirement age', Social Security violates every federal law against discrimination based on race and gender. Can anyone explain why, in America today, black men, who have a life expectancy of 69.7 years, retire at the same age as white women with a life expectancy of 80.8 years when they pay identical retirement taxes? Reformulating retirement equality using life expectancy based on race and gender, we can resolve retirement discrimination as well as fully funding Social Security if we redefine retirement in retirement years rather than retirement age. By making minor adjustments to retirement age; age 63 for black men and age 70 for white women, we'll provide equal retirement years for everybody while funding the future for our children."
  • -6 +8 -14 Bibi Jun. 30, 2011
    "NO NO NO to privatization the government is NOT going to put our money in wall street they are already up and down so whats up when stock market crashes again and when its time for us to retire then what this is ridiculous how dumb do we look come on"
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    • +1 +1 0 Chuck Martens Jul. 2, 2011
      "In response to your reply to my article, not many will live to age 100. Privatized accounts are not social retirement insurance like Social Security and must work well beyond anticipated mortality tables. Although the return on privatized accounts is significantly higher based on a conservative return from a conservative balanced portfolio, retirement programs are not just about percentage return on investment. Specifically for married women, there are other considerations to holding your own assets. Women statistically marry a man 3.5 years older than her and will outlive her spouse by an additional 5.3 years. Based upon the current wage relationships between men and women, the surviving widow would receive the greater of the two benefits which is 56% of the total benefit, 33% of the couple's retirement income or $16,864 in today's dollars. Privatization will offer the seamless transfer of the entire $50,913 retirement income to the surviving spouse. As difficult as it is to lose your mate, under privatization, the surviving widow will be left financially intact. Under Social Security, the surviving widow will live the last 8.8 years of her life alone and broke. Contact the Social Security Administration to verify."
  • -6 +11 -17 Monica Apr. 28, 2011
    "Excellent - if we haven't learned not to trust Wall Street by now - why would anyone turn over retirement Soc.Sec. to them!!??"
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    • +6 +6 0 Chuck Martens May. 15, 2011
      "Exactly what are the qualities that Wall Street lacks that politicians have? In the 8/18/10 Obama quote, Mr. Obama assigns the current crisis to the declining worker to retiree ratio caused by the "baby boom" generation. As a person qualified to write an opinion on Social Security, we both know this statement is a "misleading truth" which is Washington code for a Lewinsky. The Social Security Statement I just received clearly states, by "2037", the payroll taxes collected will be enough to pay only about 78% of scheduled benefits. The baby boomers started retiring in 2010 and a large percentage of them will be dead by 2037. The US Census Bureau goes on to tell us the worker to retiree ratio never does improve from the baby boom generation and is projected to continue to decline to approximately 2.8 to 1 until the end of the century. How about a compromise? I'll allow you to continue to trust your government with full retirement premiums for a part time retirement if you and the government can keep your noses out of my business and allow me to earn a full retirement from my full retirement premiums. If people in this country do as they have in other countries, within 5 years 95% of your friends will have full faith in WS"
  • -7 +1 -8 Jean Aug. 11, 2012
    "It would hurt the elderly and the disabled the most. No one
    thinking about what it really takes to care for elderly and disabled until you have to do it for your own mother or father. Social Security only covers the medical part. Your responsible for the custodial care which takes over your life and emotional."
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  • -7 +4 -11 Safety Net w/o Holes Dec. 23, 2011
    "We spend more money on social security than any other government program. We obviously feel that keeping seniors financially secure is our biggest priority. If that's the goal, then letting any social security money be at risk of being lost on the stock market or being weaseled away by some shady financial advisor or being eaten away by brokerage fees, is not a risk worth taking. Fix social security. Don't abandon our most important goal as a nation."
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  • -7 +4 -11 BGEllis Nov. 27, 2011
    "Will they also privatize the Congressional Health Care? Let's listen in on the Congressmen's view on losing their most coveted health care to privatization!!!

    Not going to happen... they are too corrupt to fight for the American people."
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  • -8 +1 -9 Dalas Green Feb. 16, 2012
    "Employees have paid into the Social Security program all the years they have been working which was automatically deducted from their pay checks wheather they desired to pay or not pay social security. If they didn't want to pay social seccurity taxes, thier record could indicate their opposition and they would not receibe paymentss when they retired. If the administration wants to save govenment funding to social security, then reduce those ex-dependants who gets social security from their esx-husband's account"
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  • -8 +8 -16 Abe Apr. 28, 2011
    "The money paid into Social Security should belong to the people. That is not how it is treated. The funds are often used by the government and not replaced. To have it privatized would be even worse. The record of private companies handling retirement funds have proven not to be secure. Security should mean secure, and only the government can guarantee that."
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  • -9 +2 -11 Allan Jan. 29, 2012
    "The payroll tax for Social Security was increased back in the 1980's to provide an annual surplus to be accumulated against the costs of the Baby Boom. For a long time now working people have been paying more than necessary to insure the viability of Social Security when the demographics turned around. This has been forgotten by almost everyone now, but it is the major reason that Social Security should not be privatized. We fixed it a long time ago."
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    • +1 +1 0 DownWithSS Feb. 21, 2012
      "Said budget 'surpluses' are spent by Congress on other programs since then."
    • 0 0 0 Edmund May. 10, 2013
      "Social Security can't even pay minimum wage, much less a living wage. Because the Government has embezzled 95% for themselves. Leaving the Social Security recipients with only crumbs to live on, while the Highest Paid government in the world lives like Royalty off of our Socials Security tax."
  • -9 +3 -12 Anthony Jan. 29, 2012
    "Privatizing Social Security is a bad idea without question. This will put people's retirement investments into the hands of Wall Street. Since Wall Street is run by crack-heads and retards, giving them more power only means that more people suffer at their hands.

    It is true that the system needs to be reformed. Giving the people the option of paying into the system or not sounds like a good start since many are too poor to pay. Cracking down on abuse is another wise step in the right direction to make sure that retirees only receive based on what they put in(with interest, of course). For example, if someone put $1,000 into the system annually for 40 years that would add up to $40,000 invested. With 10% interest annually that becomes around $85,000, and $2,125 could be returned over 40 years of retirement. This is cheaper than retirees receiving $5,000+ annually. Removing benefits for high income earners would also help cut costs.

    Mostly, we should return Social Security to an independent fund that the government shouldn't draw from to cover its deficits. That was a big reason why Social Security is now in trouble. If Social Security was paid back the $3 trillion that was taken since the 1980's, that would ease pressures."
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  • -11 +1 -12 Malik Walker Jan. 4, 2012
    "Privatization of Social Security is a bad thing for people who aren't employed, doesn't have a stable paycheck, or their pay is so low that they need every dime of it to live. Privatization of Social security is saying hey I'm going to take 12% of your pay and put it into an account you can't touch until you retire. This enocmy is very bad and people can't afford any more cuts from their check. Maybe if American was a little bit more stable finically but now it not."
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    • +2 +2 0 Daniel Patel Jan. 25, 2012
      "Social Security is a bankrupt system. We all know that the government has dug its hands into those accounts to use for other purposes and then cut peoples benefits. The government does the same thing when they take your Social Security. Its I'll take your money and then you will get only a small percentage of that back after you retire!"
  • -11 +6 -17 Ted Crocker Sep. 22, 2011
    "September 22, 2011. Stock is down 414.36."
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  • -11 +8 -19 Charles Apr. 28, 2011
    "No, do not 'privatize' it, eliminate the entire system. People OWN the government, not the other way around. The 'government' should not be responsible for individual, but to society as a whole. Families and local organizations should be the source to turn to for assistance. 'Privatized' SS is just a way to put more money into the wallets of wall street, and the government abuses the system by 'borrowing' monies to offset wasteful spending. Time to eliminate a failed system and 'phase it out'."
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  • -17 +2 -19 Jeff Nabors Nov. 8, 2011
    "Will enrich Wall Street"
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    • 0 +1 -1 Priscilla Feb. 8, 2013
      "SS is an awful system when a living spouse's income is basically reduced by 50% when the other spouse dies. Say what you want, but such a system is unrighteous and simply unfair. What happens to the deceased spouse's benefits; the living spouse does not have access to all of it if he/she has their own SS. Is this fair? Is this keeping our seniors financially secure? It's as if the living spouse is somehow penalized for having their own SS benefits...simply don't understand the thought process behind this aspect of SS."
    • -2 0 -2 NotlikeSwitzerland Mar. 26, 2012
      "So what if it does? Isn't that what we need to keep the economy going? I, for one would much rather make a necessary investment that can grow than contribute to the economical recycle bin our country's become."