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Should the US Privatize Social Security?

Despite crisis on Wall Street and a massive $1 trillion government bailout of private financial institutions, John McCain still has faith in partially privatized Social Security, which he unsuccessfully has voted for three times in his career. McCain believes that fixing Social Security without raising taxes requires supplementing the current system with personal accounts.

This week, McCain aides explained that McCain still supports putting a portion of Social Security in the market. But they also noted that he favors tapping only a portion of Social Security funds, and creating private accounts for younger workers to invest portions of their payroll taxes in conservative investments.

As for Obama, he plans on bringing the program back into the black by asking those making over $250,000 to contribute two to four percent (combined employer and employee contribution) more. Obama opposes privatized accounts, saying they would be a precursor to eliminating the entitlement program. What do you think is the best way to keep our promise to seniors?


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bibliophile bibliophile 8 years
I have little faith in SS, sadly enough.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that there's something to be said about having SS as a guarantee and to know that you're going to get it when you're set to retire. my mom is about the age to retire and with the way that the market has been going, our broker told her that he wouldn't recommend that she retire this year seeing as how her investments haven't been performing as well, and with the fear that SS could go away - that's NOT a good thing.
NatashaAlexis NatashaAlexis 8 years
It's too bad that such a great simple idea as social security could get so messed up. It really shows where our nations priorities lie.
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
I think people have become far to dependant on our goverment and may need to ween themselves. Once families,communities, and indviduals start taking responsbility for themselves/love ones and start telling the politicians what to do instead of the other way around then we are going to be stuck in situautions where we are bailing companies/individuals out of poor investments!
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
Hauf, I agree it's should be optional and like janneth said you "still need a personal savings account for retirement" people should be able to choose what type of savings they want and how much they want to save and when.
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
It's clear that some of these private companies are even worse at managing money that our Government so I say no to privatization.
suziryder suziryder 8 years
Everyone who voted for the option that says social security is a guarantee is in for a surprise. It's not. Those of us who are currently paying into SS are writing the checks for the current 65+ crowd. The money's going out as fast as it's going in. They're not saving it for us to use in the future. By the time it's our turn for SS, the money will be all dried up. I think partially-privatized SS makes sense.
laurelm laurelm 8 years
why in the world would we put money in something, that we never get a return? Any financial adviser-if it was just looking at this strictly as an investment would say nope, bad investment for your future. Take responsibility and plan your own retirement, the government is not doing us any favors.
melizzle melizzle 8 years
When will the day come when the government stops telling me what to do with my money? Never, I'm guessing. Till then, I'll operate under the assumption that SS won't exist when I'm old enough and keep saving on my own.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Valancy - The problem with this isn't that your parents are going to get less, it's that because of the screwups in the government, their money isn't there at all. We are paying for their retirement with our SS taxes. That's money you and I will probably never see a return on.
valancyjane valancyjane 8 years
"I guess I just think of it as yet another tax that I'll never see the benefit of..." Maybe we personally won't see the benefit of it - but knowing that my parents have at least a little guaranteed income makes me feel a whole lot better. It's one less thing to worry about - obviously SS won't cover their whole retirement, and they aren't expecting it to, but it gives them and other seniors a cushion that means they're less likely to rely on me for help.
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 8 years
Hell NO they shouldn't.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
IMO, it kind of seems odd that the only candidate actually collecting social security doesn't seem to care about others getting the benefits they have already paid for. And McCain said that raising taxes is an option for his way to deal with Social Security. When specifically asked about whether he would raise taxes he said, "All options are on the table".
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
I can't believe anyone would seriously entertain this idea after what we saw happen this week.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I think there should be a choice, i personally would like them to privatize it, but thats just my under 35 self wishful thinking.
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
Young people in general might be clueless about retirement savings and their finances but so are baby boomers in my experience.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
I don't get what's stopping people from having private retirement accounts right now. If people want to supplement SS with their own investments, what is stopping them? It does make me furious that I am paying into a system that I will never see a penny come back from, but we are paying for retirees right now, who absolutely did believe SS would work for them, and can't do a thing about it if we did away with it. I mean, 30 years ago, people thought it would be there when they retired, and we can't yank that away from them. Still, it pains me every time I see that deduction on my check. I guess I just think of it as yet another tax that I'll never see the benefit of...
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
Hell yes they should privatize it!
janneth janneth 8 years
You are correct. It could be the most impt thing we teach our young people, but high schools mostly ignore it.
geebers geebers 8 years
I don't think SS should be privatized but am skeptical it will be in place by the time I can collect. I definitely do not think people should rely on it alone. But - they really need to teach the younger generation about money and saving. I cannot even tell you how many people I know that have terrible financial skills.
janneth janneth 8 years
I don't think SS should be privatized, but you still need a personal savings account for retirement. And if you are under 35 now is the time to sock a little bit away each month in a TSA or IRA. Compound interest will work for you. Big time. You just need the self discipline to do it. Now.
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
I completely agree with you hausfrau, make it optional! I know I'm never going to see any of that money when I retire. I also have a problem with the amount of my local, state, and federal taxes going to pay for cushy pensions for govt. workers. Has either candidated talked about that issue?
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
SS should be optional. Let people choose if they want to put into it or not, then make it so you can only take out based on how much you put in. And then start teaching money management in elementary school and don't stop until the end of HS or well into college. No one under 35 is going to see a dime from SS so its absolutely asinine that we should have to pay into a broken system that we'll never see a penny of.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
The problem I have with a capital gains tax hike is that I have stocks. I know I am better off than many, but I am not rich. I could loose how much more of that because of a tax is disheartening.
True-Song True-Song 8 years
Ahh, that more like it. You had me worried there for a second.
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