OpinionJournal: "Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan and South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint are calling for legislation to bring an immediate halt to the ongoing political raid on the surplus payroll taxes collected by Social Security.
DeMint-Ryan would allow workers to create individual personal retirement accounts and place marketable government bonds worth their portion of the Social Security surplus into these accounts. Think of this as creating 140 million "lock box" accounts, one for every American worker. After three years, workers could trade these Treasury bonds and invest instead in higher-return mutual funds containing a combination of corporate stocks and bonds.
We're talking big dollars for most families. The federal government will continue to run surpluses of about $1.2 trillion through 2016 on a cash basis, and some $3 trillion through 2026 if interest on that cash is also counted...A worker with a $40,000 salary would get an average of 3% of his paycheck deposited in a personal account, or roughly $1,200 a year. A 25-year-old making a median wage, and earning 4% interest, would have an account worth nearly $100,000 by age 67.
The virtues of this proposal are both economic and political. By investing the surplus, rather than letting Congress spend it, the money would be put to better economic use and add to net national saving. The latter ought to please the deficit scolds in particular...As for the politics, this calls the bluff of Democrats who claim to be the sole protectors of the Social Security trust fund but have done nothing to stop depleting it. Do they want to protect it or not?...The DeMint-Ryan plan enhances solvency by preventing raids on the trust fund, which is a practice that has long infuriated senior citizens.
Republicans are under no obligation to commit suicide by voting for benefit cuts in the House and Senate if reform has no chance of succeeding. The invest-the-surplus idea gives Democrats one more chance to join the reform party, while putting reformers in a stronger position going into 2006 if Democrats refuse."
I indeed endorse DeMint-Ryan. Without some type of private retirement accounts I will be disheartened as to whither or not our country will go the way of European entitlements and the loss of our American spirit.