SOCIAL SECURITY Program overdue for modernization

The Jan. 5 editorial “A lonely voice in Congress” was correct that Congress
must address unpopular realities and make very difficult choices. Congress is on a spending spree — from $400 billion for Medicare to the projected $820 billion omnibus appropriations package recently passed by the House. I applaud Wisconsin’s delegation for voting against the budget package.

The Editorial Board addressed a key component in curtailing some of the
discretionary spending and unfunded liabilities: privatization. The recent
Medicare legislation marginally addresses the problem of modernization, and the health savings accounts are long overdue. But more important, the issue of Social Security can no longer be treated as the third rail in politics.

Modernization of Social Security with personal retirement accounts offers a
renewal of the promise America has made to its retirees. Worker ownership over
a portion of their Social Security taxes would generate dynamic effects on the economy that would range from increased personal savings to greater investment in the economy.

A recent Gallup Poll showed that 64% of Americans favored some sort of personal
retirement account, and even the chief actuary at the Social Security
Administration scored an aggressive privatization plan and declared that it
would meet or exceed the current level of benefits.

Let’s make sure Congress and candidates realize this.

J. Cameron Sholty
Wisconsin director Citizens for a Sound Economy