Social Security and the New Generation

President Bush's proposal to transform and reform the Social Security system has left many Americans skeptical.

Bush has committed himself to a particular set of proposals that would significantly change a system that many Americans have come to regard as capitalism, while the people wait for a transformation in the Social Security system. The economy for one is greatly in danger.

How could one modify a Social Security system in a way that could result in a financial economic growth in order to establish fairness in the existing system? Some of you may already know that change is needed and demand a change that would seek other alternatives than denying the financial support those retirees would benefit from.

For one, the workforce should support a higher ratio of retirees than is now the case for rapid economic growth in order to generate more revenues for the system in meeting all of its obligations to improve the standards of these so-called genial ideas.

Even though it is the 21st century, it's not valid to say that the retirees are less dependent on their Social Security checks to make up as high a portion of their retirement income. There are still others that are less fortunate that depend on such funds for survival.

The proposal that President Bush is using as the basis for his plan phases in cuts over time. The Bush administration's plan for changing Social Security has severely cut benefits.

Social Security has been a successful insurance program that has protected workers and their families against the income loss that occurs when a worker retires, becomes disabled, or dies Therefore, privatization would risk the program's success and cut the individual's benefits.

Privatizing Social Security would remove the only source of lifetime retirement benefits granted to most Americans, which would destroy the safety system for families in the case of a worker's disablement or death. "It's a mess, I fear Bush's new plan," said Santa Monica College student, Jack Spiro.

The administration should be looking for ways to strengthen incomes and retirement savings. One reason the system is in financial turmoil is due to the benefits of retirees that are being increased with the continual rise in wages.

Reports state that the president will change the cost-of-living index. Social Security benefits are highly progressive, so that low wage workers get a much higher share of their wages in benefits than do high wage workers.

According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research (cepr) private accounts will allow workers to earn back only a small fraction of their money. SMC student, Stephany Stamatis said, "it has the potential of robbing us of money, if it is not handled correctly."

Although Bush claims that private investment accounts would be voluntary, his privatization plan cut ones benefits by 30%. SMC student, Dominique Buie said, "Bush lies, non-secure funding is nonsense."

According to the American Prospect Magazine, "the average retiree would lose a total of $134,000 in benefits under this plan if they live for 20 years after they retire."

Workers will be forced to invest the difference in private accounts as a result. The plan also makes saving more difficult because at retirement, 50 cents from every dollar of your retirement benefits is deducted.

If individuals invest poorly, seniors might end up in poverty adding extra burden onto taxpayers. Spiro said, "a person in their golden years that serves their country should be treated with respect."

The current Social Security issues not only effect seniors but also young workers. According to the Social Security's Future facts, "President Bush's Social Security scheme is apparently eliminating future promised retirement benefits for millions of young workers by as much as 6 percent, even after potential gains from private accounts are included."

President Bush's proposal gradually shrinks the traditional guaranteed Social Security so that it will eventually become irrelevant for middle-income workers.

There's a problem worth tackling in order to bring the deficit under control, while plans for reforming Social Security are being altered.

Studies and official reports confirm that Social Security cannot be sustained in its current form and even if its revenue were in long-term balance, it is providing poorer retirement income security for the money contributed by today's workers.

The government guaranteed that if workers paid a Social Security tax on all of their wages, they would be supported in their old age. SMC student, Griselda Olage said "older people need more assistance and generally can't afford to buy medication."

What was intended as a plan for increased financial security has instead turned the country towards a future of economic uncertainty.

Social Security in fact is a complex social program that needs to be addressed properly to see that certain individuals are served justly. "We're not going to get anything out of it, if it is not handled correctly," said Stamatis.

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