Is Social Security in financial trouble? Politicians and pundits evade, dissemble, and argue around the problem. Instead of me just being another average citizen pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes, what do the Social Security Trustees have to say?
The long-run actuarial deficits of the Social Security and Medicare programs worsened in 2012…Both Medicare and Social Security cannot sustain projected long-run program costs under currently scheduled financing, and legislative modifications are necessary to avoid disruptive consequences for beneficiaries and taxpayers.
Lawmakers should not delay addressing the long-run financial challenges facing Social Security and Medicare.
Personally, I have been writing about the need to privatize Social Security since before the Greenspan Commission; in that time, I have made several suggestions, and now I offer a new one.
Beside the underlying corrupt nature of the program, there are three legislative factors for addressing this program’s underfunding: (1) revenue from payroll taxes, (2) returns from invested assets, and (3) benefits to be paid. Frankly, the cowards on the Hill lack the integrity to soberly address any of these three. Beyond my name calling of our legislators (which I prefer to think of as an identification and judgment upon their character), the two parties have entrenched themselves in seeking political advantage by opposing solutions on these points.
In an effort to get around this legislative log jam, I ask our Congress to respect our rights by allowing us individually to abolish retirement.
Retirement is fine for someone that is independent through their own savings and investment. The current Social Security program unchanged would be available for the elderly who are unable to work due to physical or mental infirmity. However, for everybody else, keep working and support yourself. Essentially, the government imposed retirement age would be abolished and Social Security would be paid to the disabled elderly.
Because of interventions into the economy by the Congress, this will require legislative support to be more effective. Congress should abolish payroll withholding and employer matching related to entitlements for individuals who are eligible to retire but continue to work. While individuals could still choose to go on the Social Security dole, government imposed penalties for continuing to work should be removed.
Of course, this is not an optimal solution. For example, the disparity over employer matching of payroll takes will encourage discrimination against younger workers in favor of the elderly. However, as an interim solution, I think that it is valuable to change the notion of retirement from an autopilot course to idleness and financial support from others.
Extra point: Based upon changes in life-expectancy, Longevitas reported that the retirement age in the UK would be 80 years old to be consistent with the purpose of the original state pension program.