Much-needed reform would help end debt

The Dec. 4 editorial “Go slowly on Social Security” expressed misplaced concern over the “cost” of reforming the retirement system with personal retirement accounts. Reform that allows taxpayers to keep some of their Social Security tax dollars does not “cost” taxpayers anything.

The government already owes current and future retirees $12 trillion – the unfunded liability that is not counted as government debt. This money is owed whether or not personal retirement accounts are allowed. Reform simply moves that debt onto the books. This number increases by about $320 billion every two years reform is put off.

Personal retirement accounts, however, eventually completely eliminate the $12 trillion unfunded liability by moving to a system in which we pre-fund our retirement. Personal retirement accounts do result in tax dollars being kept from the government but simultaneously decrease future government liabilities.

Every dollar we are allowed to put into a personal retirement account is one dollar less the government owes us in retirement, eventually eliminating the $12 trillion dollars of unaccounted debt. The chief actuary of Social Security has found such reform would bring “permanent solvency” to the system.

What we really cannot afford is to move too slowly on reform.

Cameron Sholty
Director Wisconsin FreedomWorks