Relentless Pursuit of Wisdom and Liberty

The weblog companion of, dedicated to pondering, "If Patrick Henry could see us now..."

Friday, February 18, 2005

The best reason for reforming Social Security

People can talk about how much larger returns are acheivable by personal accounts, about the deficits the program will start running in 2018 and the tax-funded cashing in of T-bills that will have to take place to pay all benefits, about the emptying of the Trust Fund in 2042 and the subsequent 27% benefit cuts, but all those things are, IMO, no more than peripheral issues that just happen to illustrate just how bad the future of the program looks. I mean, sure, I want to try and prevent my kids and grandkids from getting slammed by higher future taxes to keep the program solvent, but because I never expected to draw Social Security benefits, I could care less about future benefit cuts. But even the positive fiduciary effects of reform are, again IMO, just side effects of actions that should be taken for a much bigger reason.

That reason is freedom, and we're starting to hear a little bit more about this underlying support for reform, rather than all the number-crunching - which can be manipulated (a la Sen. Harry Reid's laughable "How Much You'll Lose Under Bush's Plan" calculator) and is mostly ignored by John Q. Taxpayer. The best thing that can happen is to give American workers the ability to opt out completely of Social Security, keeping every penny of the payroll tax, and foregoing all future claims of benefits - this is the path that increases freedom and personal responsibility the most. Failing that, I'll take an incremental step in the right direction, with the fervent hope that as that step is well-received and vindicated, another can be taken in the future.


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