A thought on Social Security

Forecasts from the Congressional Budget Office estimate that over time the share of GDP will rise from 5 to 6 percent. This may be a relatively minor increase in context of other expanding entitlement programs, and it is probably politically infeasible to cut benefits or enact major structural changes for the generation of people that are 30-40 years old and up. But why not phase the program out (either in whole or in part) after that? Young people like myself have decades to plan ahead for a retirement without Social Security, and as living standards continue to increase I am fairly confident in saying that even a Social Security that drastically reduces benefits for people in my demographic cohort would not leave us worse off.
Addendum: Here is the CBO Director’s blog.

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3 thoughts on “A thought on Social Security

  1. Scu says:

    I’m not particularly fond of the idea of decreasing the safety net, particularly for elderly people (including future elderly people).

    Here is Kevin Drum on fixing Social Security http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2010/06/fixing-social-security

  2. Scu says:

    Also, how is it fair or politically feasible to have us pay into social security with full knowledge I won’t get it?

    I feel that putting retirement age slightly further off and raising the marginal tax rate would be more politically feasible. And it keeps social security around.

  3. Eapen says:

    I mean, those are fair comments, and probably right.

    I think that a couple things will happen over the next twenty or so years that will play meaningfully into this debate. technological change and pathbreaking innovations will leave all of us richer and enjoying much higher standards of living. Can I say the singularity approaches? even kurzweil is now appropriate cocktail discussion…

    I don’t mean to assume that here won’t be poor in 40 years, but I suspect that the poor will have access to a lot more in terms of resources, especially education and healthcare, and the notion of what it means to provide a safety net will be a lot different and won’t look very much like social security at all.

    but i’m rambling, and speculating, and not an expert.

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