Friday, February 13, 2009

Social Security isn't broken; don't "fix" it.

LA Times columnist Michael Hiltzik observes that if there's a silver lining to our current economic situation, it's that the strength and value of our current Social Security system:

They say that even the worst tragedies harbor the seed of something good. So here's something positive in the stock market's gruesome behavior over the last year: It may finally have driven a stake through the heart of the campaign to "fix" Social Security.

Let's be plain about one thing: This campaign, cooked up mostly by Wall Street investment houses and conservative Republicans,was always about “fixing” Social Security the way one "fixes" a cat. (...)

With any luck, the 2008 stock market crash will permanently restore Social Security's luster. Indeed, the program looks so solid and reliable compared with every other source of retirement income -- your pension, your portfolio, your house -- that people ought to respond well to the idea of expanding it, in part by permitting them to put more money into their Social Security accounts to obtain better benefits.

In fact, he suggests that it should be expanded by adding the ability to make voluntary contributions.

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