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Opinion

Privatizing Social Security is the only way to fix it

Mar 31, 2023

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Star Parker

Founder & President, Center for Urban Renewal and Education

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This year, Social Security recipients are receiving their biggest monthly bump in benefits since 1983. However, the long-term future of the popular safety net program remains uncertain. President Biden’s fiscal 2024 budget calls for strengthening Social Security and rejects any calls for cutbacks. That could be wise politically, as the program is extremely popular with both liberal and conservative voters. But Biden’s budget doesn’t offer much detail in terms of long-term fixes to Social Security’s depleted trust funds.

Straight Arrow News contributor Star Parker has said before that the program is broken and argues that the only way to fix Social Security is to privatize it.

As President Biden and Democrats sharpen their blades to attack Republicans on Social Security, it’s important for all of us to remember the facts. According to the latest Social Security Trustees report, there’s an unfunded obligation of $20.4 trillion through 2096. In real terms, this means that the trust fund reserves are projected to become depleted in 2034, at which time the system will be able to pay only 77% of scheduled benefits. That means doing nothing will automatically force deep cuts of 23% to everyone that’s on Social Security; to everyone’s social security benefits, just everyone. 

So for them to keep saying they’re gonna cut, they’re gonna cut … no, this is automatic. Despite the popular spin, those screaming, “Don’t touch Social Security” are not the ones protecting the program or your future. Doing nothing puts Social Security at immense risk. Likewise, according to the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, the average return for the typical middle-class worker on Social Security over the last 40 years was one percent, compared to six percent for stocks. Even if Social Security was financially stable, it would still present a massive opportunity cost for Americans. This isn’t an opinion, this is fact. This isn’t politics, it’s math. Similarly, we can raise taxes and rob the young to pay for those of us that are older, well … or we can build a system that harnesses the power of the market to build real wealth.

Clearly, many don’t trust the markets with their retirement. This unease is often exaggerated by progressives. They just keep on and on and on as if … people think it’s rocket science to manage their own money. Many of … these progressives are far richer than the average American. They make ample use of private investment accounts. Yes, private investment accounts. They use them, but nobody else should. The irony that’s lost in the social security debate is that millionaires like Joe Biden, Joy Reid, Rachel Maddow … don’t trust their retirement securities to the government, but regularly dish out ill advice to those that are following them and their constituents. “Don’t do like I do. Don’t make money. Don’t trust the markets.” Oh, no, we should trust the markets more than we trust government bureaucrats and politicians. 

As President Biden and Democrats sharpen their blades to attack Republicans on Social Security, it’s important for all of us to remember the facts. According to the latest Social Security Trustees report, there’s an unfunded obligation of $20.4 trillion through 2096. In real terms, this means that the trust fund reserves are projected to become depleted in 2034, at which time the system will be able to pay only 77% of scheduled benefits. That means doing nothing will automatically force deep cuts of 23% to everyone that’s on Social Security; to everyone’s social security benefits, just everyone. 

So for them to keep saying they’re gonna cut, they’re gonna cut …no, this is automatic. Despite the popular spin, those screaming, “Don’t touch Social Security” are not the ones protecting the program or your future. 

Doing nothing puts Social Security at immense risk. Likewise, according to the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, the average return for typical middle-class worker on Social Security over the last 40 years was 1%, compared to 6% for stocks. Even if Social Security was financially stable, it would still present a massive opportunity cost for Americans. This isn’t an opinion, this is fact. This isn’t politics; it’s math. Similarly, we can raise taxes and rob the young to pay for those of us that are older, well … or we can build a system that harnesses the power of the market to build real wealth. 

Clearly, many don’t trust the markets with their retirement. This unease is often exaggerated by progressives. They just keep on and on and on as if … people think it’s rocket science to manage their own money. Many of … these progressives are far richer than the average American. They make ample use of private investment accounts. Yes, private investment accounts. They use them, but nobody else should. The irony that’s lost in the social security debate is that millionaires like Joe Biden, Joy Reid, Rachel Maddow … don’t trust their retirement securities to the government, but regularly dish out ill advice to those that are following them and their constituents. “Don’t do like I do. Don’t make money. Don’t trust the markets.” Oh, no, we should trust the markets more than we trust government bureaucrats and politicians. 

The debate over the future of social security is bigger than one program. It’s bigger than private versus public. It’s about whether we’re going to continue the creeping march of socialists to eat-the-rich economics that has failed the world time and time again. Or will we inspire a generation of disengaged and/or even frustrated youth to take control of their lives and become the rich? Why in the world would we envy the wealthy, when we can emulate the wealthy? 

Doing nothing will not only make the problem worse, and tax hikes won’t change the fact that social security has never been on a path to wealth accumulation, and it never will be. 

Social Security is government control over individuals people’s lives. And we need private control, personal control, over our financial future.

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