I'm still undecided if the President's ideas are good or bad ideas. Touring the nation with a bunch of prescreened people who already agree with
him might convince a few people that his way will work but not me. I want to see more numbers and more information. I've read that if the economy
grows the same as it has for the past 75 years that no change is even needed to the system. Therefore the need to change the system is controversial
by itself in my opinion. If I could totally opt out of the social security tax and receive a refund for all the money I already put into the system I
believe I would. However I hear of nothing like that.
Anyway you look at, it sounds like all of the younger generations are going to lose money on all of these proposals. The debate is really how much is
everyone going to lose and how much does the government get to keep on these social security taxes. Some of the proposed changes or ideas would leave
retirees with only a tiny percentage of benefits payable from the government. The hope as I've read it, is that your private account will help to
make up some of the difference.
I've read the paper copy of BusinessWeek which has some pretty good graphics or tables to illustrate how much you stand to lose. Here are some
links to the online version.
Just so no one thinks I'm making any of this up, a search revealed social security benefits will be cut by 40% from the current levels by 2075
according to information in BusinessWeek.
Just to stress another point stated within the link above, according to the SSA or Social Security Administration, there will be no shortfall at all
in social security if the next 75 years growth rate simply matches the past 75 years growth rate. As pointed out by a finance professor Jeremy
Siegel, if you don't get high enough growth rates, then you won't get the 7% return on stocks either that these personal accounts count on.
If you ask all of the generations that aren't going to get their benefits fixed, then ask them if they know that they will lose money under a new
plan, they may have a different opinion of any plan. However it may be better to plan for a decrease now rather than have the government suddenly
have to cut our benefits years later in retirement. I would like more details and more numbers.
Edited note: There are some additional arguments for change. Apparently some ideas are that your descendants will be able to use the money in your
personal accounts after you have passed away. That is if you haven't depleted the funds already.
[edit on 6-2-2005 by orionthehunter]