Life's Better Ideas

Occasional links to, and comments on, ideas that I think will make this a better world, and remarks about things that need fixing, too.

Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Saturday, January 07, 2006

LP Platform - Social Security

I'm serving on the Libertarian Party Platform Committee again this year. Some of my readers know that each plank has 4 sections as a result of reforms enacted 2 years ago at the national convention held in Atlanta. This year's convention will be in Portland, I think in June. The 4 sections are Issue, Principle, Solution, and Transition. You can find the full platform here.

An article which is having a significant impact on the Platform Committee is by Thom Gray, who is or was Vice-President of the UTK College Libertarians. The article is titled WHERE DO WE STAND? A Rhetorical Analysis of the Libertarian Party Platform.

One on the planks I'm in charge of is Social Security. Below you'll find the current version of the plank and my revised version, which must be approved by both the Platform Committee and convention delegates. Feel free to add comments.

Current Issue: Social Security is a bankrupt, immoral pyramid-scheme that has trillions of dollars of unfunded liabilities and yields below average returns for those trapped in it. Any financial advisor who suggested investing in a program like this would go to jail, but the members of Congress get off scot-free.

Revised Issue: Social Security will start paying out more than it receives in revenues in about 2018 and will exhaust the “trust fund” in about 2042. At that point, benefits will have to be reduced about 25 percent. The “trust fund” is actually spent on government pork and other wasteful programs.

Current Principle: In a free society, retirement planning is the responsibility of the individual, not the government.

Revised Principle: No changes.

Current Solution: We favor replacing the current fraudulent, virtually bankrupt, government sponsored Social Security system with a private voluntary system.

Revised Solution: We favor replacing the current government sponsored Social Security system with a private, voluntary system.

Current Transition: Pending that replacement, participation in Social Security should be made voluntary. Victims of the Social Security tax should also have a claim against government property.

Revised Transition: Our 5 point program will help you lower your taxes and save more for retirement. Shift from wage indexing to price indexing. Begin raising the retirement age by 2 months each year. Move non-retirement benefit liabilities to the general fund and the associated taxes to the income tax and reduce the payroll tax. As the retirement age increases, reduce the payroll tax to the point where it just covers the projected retirees. Allow you to put any payroll tax reductions into a Roth IRA.

Please note that these are proposed changes only. All changes must be approved by convention delegates.


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