Social Security “reform”

This blog has some good ideas, but something is off-kilter with his message. Compare and contrast:

I don’t like the idea of forced savings, period


But what I think most people can get around is that a system that allows people, especially lower-middle- and lower-class people to conserve some capital over time is a good thing, regardless of any other ideological/political affiliation.

So, you are against forced savings, but for those unfortunate poor people, it’s okay for the government to force them to save something to pass on to their heirs? Anyone else see a double standard there? (This was linked off InstaPundit, so I shouldn’t be suprised that it’s got me worked up.)

I’m opposed to the “reform” of Social Security to turn it into a government-sponsored financial industry support program, which is what the nebulous “private accounts” appear to me as. Just imagine the management fees fund managers can collect on even 1% or 2% of the total Social Security tax intake.

The other thing that really piques my interest is how Bush trotted out the “compound interest” argument:

…a personal savings account which will compound over time and grow over time; a personal savings account which can’t be used to bet on the lottery, or a dice game, or the track. In other words, there will be guidelines. There will be certain — you won’t be allowed just to take that money and dump it somewhere. In other words, there will be a safe way to invest, to be able to realize the compounding rate of interest.

So, if Joe Q. Public takes his $1/week and sticks it in an account that returns, lets be generous and say 10% compounded monthly, he’s going to get a higher return than if all the $1/week contributions get lumped together into one account? If you buy that as the truth, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

I’m not 100% sure what my stance on forced savings is, but anyone who earns enough and is eligible should be contributing to a tax defered retirement plan, be it a 401(k), 403(b) or some IRA variant. Or multiple ones if you can so afford.

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