Social Security

SOCIAL SECURITY….I’ve been cruising around the nooks and crannies of the conservative/libertarian web lately to see what they have to say about Social Security privatization, and it’s made me even more puzzled about the whole thing than ever. As near as I can tell, privatization doesn’t seem to make sense on any level (including the conspiracy theory level that it’s just a payoff to Wall Street, by the way).

More on that later, when I work up the energy. In the meantime, Edith Fierst has a short op-ed in the Washington Post today explaining that (a) Social Security’s problems are fairly minor and (b) they can be fixed fairly easily. Go read it.

POSTSCRIPT: I should add that there are lots of options here, not just hers. But the bottom line is that there are lots of options, they’re all well known, and they aren’t very painful.

And while I might choose a different mix than Fierst’s, it’s worth mentioning that I agree with her that raising the retirement age is probably a bad choice, although in the past I’ve been open to the idea. It would be unpopular, probably unwise, and wouldn’t save all that much money. There are better options out there.

Washington Monthly - Donate today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation