Privatize Social Security



Privatize Social Security: Americans are Smart Enough to Invest for Themselves
The beginning of the 20th century was a very hard time for America and its citizens. After the Industrial Revolution and the Great War came the Great Depression. The economy was crashing, and crashing fast; the stock market crashed twice in one week, thousands of people were laid off, and businesses went bankrupt. These were definitely the hardest of times and the people were looking for help. On June 8, 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt announces to congress that he intended to provide a program for Social Security. He created the Committee on Economic Security to study the entire problem of the economy and to provide any recommendations that would help congress make a legislative consideration. In early January 1935, the committee gave the report to Roosevelt and on January 17 he presented it to congress. On August 14, 1935 the Social Security Act was pass into law by President Roosevelt. The act was to help people in need of general welfare and pay retired workers age 65 or older a continuing income after retirement. The program later change to include unemployment insurance, old-age assistance, aid to dependant children, and grants to states for medical care. In 1939, the program was amended to include payments to the spouse and minor children and survivors benefits pay in the event the worker suffered a premature death. This is pretty much what Americans know as Social Security today and the program has been relatively unchanged since it was stared over sixty years ago (Social Security History).
This program was definitely needed during these hard times; no one can really argue that. However, most people today discuss Social Security more than ever: it is argued in congress, it is talked about on the news, and it is debated in political elections. Americans feel that they can do better investing their hard-earned money themselves. Most American’s feel that Social Security will not be there for them when they reach their retirement age. Social Security is in serious trouble and the United States must act fast before it is too late. One solution that would benefit the American people is to privatize the retirement portion of the Social Security Program.
Social Security is in deep water; it is so deep that it could possibly be bankrupt sometime in the next century. Gary Burtless of National Tax Journal stated that “The trust funds will begin to decline and, under most plausible forecasts, will fall to zero well before the middle of the next century” (399). This should frighten just about every working person in America. In fact it frightens so many people that it has really become a hot issue in congress, it is debated more often between our congressman and senators, and it is a major concern of President Clinton. This reason for this is simple; Social Security is in trouble and everyone knows it. One of the most shocking groups of people to notice that the Social Security program is in trouble, are senior citizens.
James L. Martin’s 1997 article “Personalizing Social Security” shows that senior citizens are in favor of privatizing Social Security. His interviews with senior citizens lead him to believe that most senior citizens do not want Social Security for themselves but for their children and grandchildren. He states “ . . . seniors’ most valuable assets are their children, their grand children, and their great grandchildren” (29). So, Martin has decided to start 60 Plus, a senior citizens group trying to find a simple solution to the problem of Social Security. They do this for the sake of their children and their grandchildren (29). However, senior citizens are not the only group who has decided to act on the problem of Social Security.
Martin also discusses that President Clinton and his Social Security Advisory Council is taking measures to find out what to do about the problem with Social Security. The last time a president studied Social Security was back in 1983. Ronald Reagan Social Security Reform Commission stated that Social Security would still be working for the next 75 years. If this is true then why has President Clinton started another commission so soon in the 1990’s? The answer again