Early in his second term, President Bush launched a trial balloon regarding reforming Social Security. As a basic supporter of the notion, he caught my attention, but I had questions. As we know, the idea did not get any traction because (as a whole) Republicans fumbled and Democrats balked. However, my interest and questions still exist.
Like anything, Social Security has a history. Yes, Congress enacted the legislation in 1939, but here is a link with more of the story. The bottom line is that Social Security’s intent was to protect senior citizens from poverty.
As it can happen over time, and regardless of the reasons, many Americans developed a view of Social Security as a retirement system. As the largest demographic group in our population is approaching their time to draw, and with high unemployment numbers, Social Security’s financial soundness is questionable.
If it ever happens, odds are that privatizing Social Security won’t affect me, but that doesn’t mean I’m not supportive of the idea. Money from individual paychecks going into a dedicated account for that individual simply makes sense. Giving some basic investment choices for that account that the holder decides makes sense. I guess “making sense” is the reason Washington won’t do it and if they do, they would screw it up.
Yet, my questions from 2005 are still on the table.
- How will we financially transition from the current system to another?
- How will we protect senior citizens from poverty during and after the transition?
I may be for privatizing Social Security, but I still believe in its intent.