Francis W. Porretto comes up with a scheme to put Social Security out of its misery once and for all:
- Mandatory first step: Abolish the Social Security payroll tax, both on employee and employer. This “ends the contract” that makes Americans believe they have a stake in perpetuating the system.
- Statutorily recompense anyone who has paid the payroll tax but has not yet collected benefits, on a constant-dollar calculation, over a period not to exceed five years. That compensation would free the federal government from any as-yet-uninvoked claims for Social Security benefits.
- Now offer cash buyouts to current recipients of Social Security payments, based on actuarial figures and “present-value” calculations. Many will accept, believing they can do better with cash-in-hand than with time payments whose amount and regularity cannot be guaranteed.
Which ultimately is far kinder, especially to the erstwhile participants, than the oft-proposed double whammy of raising taxes and cutting benefits, or simply letting the whole operation drown in a sea of red ink.