Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Fixing Social Security

John Kasich writes on fixing social security and what is destroying it:
To repair Social Security, we have to be clear about what's destroying it. We'll soon be taking more money out of the system than we're putting into it, which means that one day it will go broke. In 1945 there were about 42 workers paying into the system for each person receiving benefits. Today that ratio is 3.3 to 1, and by 2040, there will be just two workers for each beneficiary.

At the same time, Americans are living longer. That's good news, but it means retirees will receive benefits for longer, putting further pressure on the fund. Americans are also having fewer children, which means fewer workers will be paying the taxes that help finance benefits.

Furthermore, benefits are growing faster than inflation. First-time Social Security benefits are now tied to wage growth, and wages are rising faster than prices. The result: over the next 75 years, benefits are expected to increase nearly eighteenfold, while prices will go up less than half that rate. In order to keep pace, our children and their children will have to work longer hours and pay more taxes. Between now and 2080, benefits will most likely exceed payroll taxes by $120 trillion.

That's right boys and girls, 3 taxpayers to take care of 1 recipient. We can not maintain this course and it must be changed. People need to start thinking outside of the box and get with the program of private savings accounts. My husband nor I entertain any delusions that we will ever see a dime of Social Security benefits, and neither should you. Why people continue to endorse the current system is beyond me.

Anecdotally speaking, several years ago I read a New Orleans news story about a woman who was having trouble getting benefits for her 'orphaned child'. You see, the father and mother were having problems conceiving and had been persuing infertility treatment. One day the husband is killed in a car wreck but the widow decides she still wants that child. So she chooses to have her husband's frozen sperm artificially inseminated and has a child. Okay, I won't even go into how weird that is in itself. Mind you that these are not cheap procedures to have done and they are not covered by medical insurance.

So after she has her child that she went through much trouble and expense to have, she promptly marches up to the Social Security office and applies for benefits for her 'orphaned' child. Initially the application was rejected, but then accepted, with a statement from the government saying that our current laws just had not caught up to technology yet.

Nooooo! Don't get me wrong, I think it is wonderful anytime someone has a child. But when you make the pre-meditated decision to bring a child into this world fatherless, you should be well prepared to take care of said child by yourself.