Saturday, September 25, 2004

The Case for "Privatizing" Part of Social Security

Actually, I don't think there is one. What would be the point? If you think reducing payroll taxes and/or guaranteed benefits in a way which adds up is a good idea then go ahead and advocate that policy. But, what possible good argument is there for a policy roughly like the ones which are floated by the Bushies (without details of course), which would cut payroll taxes by 2 percentage points, cut guaranteed future benefits, and then mandate that you save/invest that 2 percentage points of income. What's with the mandatory savings? If you want to cut benefits, fine. If you want to having all kinds of tax free savings instruments, which we already do, fine. But why force people to save? The only point of doing so is to ensure that people have a reasonable income base when they're of retirement age, but once you take the "insurance" part out of retirement insurance, then a mandatory saving/investment program doesn't achieve that.