The rhetoric about “tinkering” with Social Security in the name of setting aside some of the contributions to private investments is only a play on people who are under forty to gain their support.
Before I was forty years old I also thought that the six percent taken from me every week was outrageous and should be eliminated, but that was my youth and selfishness speaking. Today as someone over fifty my attention turns towards fixing what is advertised as broken.
I say begin with what is already there. There are according to some over half a million disability appeal cases pending in one of the already largest agencies in the Federal Government. Most will be paid at an extreme cost to the current Trust Fund; these costs are in the name of expert witnesses, being doctors, occupational specialists and attorneys to the tune of hundreds of dollars sometimes thousands per case. Remember the longer an attorney delays the case the more they get in the settlement when the claimant is paid. The fee is twenty five percent of the back payment to the claimant.
Then we have to look at the Adjudicating Law Judges (fancy name for administrators who preside over hearings) whose interest is best served by granting the benefits to the claimants simple because they will then not be brought up to an Appeals Council who may overturn a non-payment and the ALJ would then have to work the case again.
Then we can look at the Federal Government’s refusal to fund the Investigative department of the agency who reviews ongoing disability cases and determines if there is a heath improvement and removes claimants from the payroll who otherwise may receive unmerited benefits for many years or life. Not to mention the fact that if the claimant is paid there is no review by the Appeals Council and the claimant is paid ongoing for life.
These are just a few of the areas that can save tax payers a ton of money and get the money to where it is really needed. Setting aside two percent of my contributed six percent to a “Private Investment” may net me a few more dollars when I’m 67 years old but at what risk. Fixing the broken internal problems are much more likely to ensure that in 17 years there will be a retirement Social Security check.