ARTICLES BY TOPIC ¦ SOCIAL SECURITY



Letter to the Editor ¦ August 12, 2004
Social Security is not in need of re-hashing

Your August 6 editorial, "Revamping V," states a need for "Voters to demand more details and debate" from Bush and Kerry on the best way to resolve the federal pension system's imputed problems. But your data suggests an easier path: do nothing.

You note workers tend to prefer Social Security's greater safety and point out the realistic hazards of Bush's individual retirement account proposals. You say Social Security benefits can be paid in full until perhaps 2052 and 80 percent thereafter, and that the start-up cost of the Bush plan would be $1 trillion.

Doesn't this suggest doing nothing for maybe 30 years? If a problem develops, you can then ask how to raise the sums needed to cure any deficit. It is likely $1 trillion will be more than enough, and it would go to pay valuable benefits rather than wasted start-up costs for the Bush plan.

Social Security has a proven track record, while privatization has created costly problems in Sweden, england and Chile.

David Langer
New York
Consulting Actuary


© 2001 DAVID LANGER COMPANY, INC.