Columns / Discourse / September 29, 2010

Observing America: Social Insecurity

Did you know that everyone under 55 will not get any Social Security benefits once they retire? Social Security is the biggest Ponzi scheme in American politics. The system was designed to fit the Great Depression period, not to function during the 21st century.

According to the Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform, the Social Security “Trust Fund” will run out of money by 2029 as increasing entitlement spending costs have enlarged the public debt. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office concluded that the government “pegged an increase in the public debt from $7.5 trillion at the end of 2009 to $20.3 trillion at the end of 2020 if President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2011 budget were to be implemented as written.” In other words, if Democrats and Republicans do not change the current budgetary trend, and continue to allow entitlement spending, then the U.S. will either have very high payroll taxes imposed to pay for the debt or incrementally increase the retirement age to who knows what. A clear solution is to privatize Social Security.

Now hear me out on this one: Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin designed the American Roadmap. The main function of this project is to decrease public debt and to save entitlement projects. Since public debt is increasing when it comes to entitlement spending, Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security will bust out

The Congressman’s proposal works around the premise that “workers under 55 will have the voluntary option of investing over one-third of their current Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts” ( As Chile did in 1973, the government will consult people to send their retirement funds into safe stocks or bonds. Political analyst William Shipman reported that as Chile passed this privatization of Social Security, it had an increase of “$23 billion, or roughly 41 percent of gross domestic product.” (Retiring with Dignity: Social Security vs. Private Markets).

Not only would the gradual privatization of entitlement projects encourage Americans to invest in their own finances to acquire a good retirement fund, but it would also increase the GDP and money flow into the American economy. The only concern with the American Roadmap is that since people will slowly pull out from Social Security, people over 55 will not be provided for because Social Security is funded on a “pay-as-you-go” basis.

However, cutting down on entitlement spending will create surpluses that could be used to fund retirees’ financial state.

Both parties must change. Principle must come above politics. Proposing an American Roadmap may be political suicide, since senior citizens are the most energized voting block and would feel threatened by such change. Yet true leadership is needed to give America change. The midterm elections are coming up, and very few politicians are talking about Social Security. The time to talk about Social Security is now. Let’s put it this way: if Social Security is not changed soon, most of the Knox student body, including some faculty members, would not acquire retirement funds. As former Congressman Joe Scarborough said, “There is no time to waste.”

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Alex Uzarowicz
Alex Uzarowicz has been a weekly conservative political columnist for The Knox Student for three years. He also writes for The College Conservative. Alex will graduate in June 2013 with a degree in political science, after which he will head abroad to begin his Peace Corps service.

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