Can we save Social Security?

I’ve been following the arguments about Social Security for many years and came across this article which sums up options for extending its life.

I’d be willing to compromise a bit from where I used to be when I opposed privatization. I’d be willing to privatize a portion of SS with some small amount to cover subsistence and the insurance would be a reasonable compromise.

I’d also agree to extending the tax to high incomes. I don’t support the wealth tax proposal in the article nor do I support increasing the age of retirement.

If only we had partially privatized it when we had the chance. lol

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Check this little gem out:

Imagine how responsible that would sound if it applied to the national budget.



Raising the income cap on the payroll tax will go a long way to getting it into solvency.

Any form of privitization would be a disaster imo. There is no way that Wall Street should be given that much money to burn.


Agree on the first and on the second but am willing to compromise on the second in order to address the problem. Not all invested, just a portion.

It’s a good question if it will be here or not in its present form ten years from now. I was reading where covid put a serious dent in it.

I would be fine making SS market based give me good companies like Apple, Google, JNJ, especially 15 years ago when I got out of college it would be worth a hell of lot more than SS would be right now :slight_smile: Of course now with the market out in the stratosphere it would be a tougher sell than before.

Even a portion would be terrible.

I used to be one of those guys who was all behind the Cato institute Social Security privitization push because I came into the workforce in the early 1990’s.

Then 2007-8 financial crises happened and I worked to understand that kerfuffle and came away with the realization that there is no way on any earth that those sociopaths should be responsible for having money dumped on them on the scale of social security.


Agreed. No to privatization. The reality is that the stock market booms and busts- great for retirees who hit the market on an upswing. Terrible for retirees who retire during a bust. Just a bad idea in my opinion.

Yes, privatization does introduce risk which I think can be managed. I am NOT for freedom to invest as you please and envision a more 401k style of limited options.

Btw, SS is long term and if you look at the market for any 30+ year period they show reasonable gains in the market.

Well… one can only look at the example that they hold up. The one in Chile.

The overhead to run the program was way more than it is to run it through the government. So not only is it subjected to booms and busts… the associated costs to implementation is higher, which is no surprise in a for profit system.

Privatization looks great during this period of amazing stock market gains. Not so much during bear or stagnant markets.

Like I said, take as my thirty year interval, even covering a bear market. How do you end up?

Yes, there will be costs involved but 401k choices have their cost published and can be very low.

Bad idea for average joe. Great for Wall Street.


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It doesn’t have to be Wall St. though. The entirety of privatized fund could be put in US Treasuries or Bonds. Guaranteed income. As safe as the USA. There is plenty of US National debt to cover all privatized accounts. Let the US worker hold our national debt, not foreign entities.


Doesn’t the SSA already invest their surplus in Treasury bonds?

If only the government had kept their word and hands off of money that wasn’t and isn’t their’s. I’ve paid the maximum amount almost all of my life, to find out as I’m approaching retirement, the account is almost bankrupt. How about that 3.5 trillion “infrastructure” bill that’s actually intended to bail out states that have totally mismanaged their money…why not use it to shore up SS?


Not privatized accounts. That’s what I was addressing. Privatized accounts don’t have to be subject to Wall St. uncertainties.

Yeah… I get it… but to counter that, Privatizing SS not only moves us to yet another system of selling off the commons (which is what I think is really behind this idea) but puts yet another thing on the individual to prepare from what has been historically defined as a social good.

And while I am in a position where I don’t even calculate Social Security into my retirement planning ( because I am Gen X and lived my whole adult life like it isn’t going to be around when I retire) there are lower wage workers whose entire retirement would be determined by the luck of the market when the retired. People who retired in 2007-2008 and held a lot of GM bonds got the short end of the stick.

If we are to have a defined floor for income in retirement, basing it on the luck of the market and having it administered by Wall Street is disaster waiting to happen. imo.

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How is that different than what we have now?