Santa Monica, CA, December 10, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- ProCon.org, a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity dedicated to promoting critical thinking, created the new website http://socialsecurity.procon.org
to explore the core question “Should Social Security be privatized?”
The US Social Security program began in 1935 as a social program intended to provide a safety net protecting American workers and their families in the event of retirement, disability, and early death. It has become the largest government program in the world and the single greatest expenditure, at $612 billion (20.8%), of the 2008 $2.9 trillion federal budget. In 2008, the Social Security Administration paid $615 billion, or 4.3% of the US GDP, in benefits to about 56 million people.
According to the Social Security Administration, the projected long run costs of the Social Security program are not sustainable under the current program framework. They predict that starting in 2016, without changes to the system, the cost of benefits will exceed tax revenues, and in 2037, the program will become insolvent, i.e. unable to pay scheduled benefits in full. Reasons for this insolvency include a larger aging US population (40.2 million aged 65 and older in 2010 and 81.2 million projected in 2040) and an 83-year life expectancy for Social Security recipients in 2009 versus 77.5 years when the program began in 1935. Since Social Security is an entitlement program and Congress can change the rules regarding benefit eligibility at any time, workers paying into the Social Security system do not have a right to receive Social Security benefits.
Moving Social Security benefits into private accounts is one proposal to prevent Social Security's predicted future financial shortfall. Privatization of Social Security would allow workers to control their own retirement money through personal investment accounts.
Supporters of private accounts contend that retirees will then have the freedom to invest their retirement money in the stock market as they wish, theoretically earning higher returns than with government-invested funds.
Critics of privatizing Social Security argue that investing retirement money is complicated and risky because individuals can lose their retirement safety net through bad decisions.
The latest ProCon.org website explores these pro and con arguments and includes sources, images, videos, reader comments, and a section of little known facts called “Did You Know?” Some facts from the site include:
1. When Social Security began in 1935 the contributions of 17 workers paid for the benefits of one retiree. In 2035 the estimated ratio will be 2.1 workers per beneficiary.
2. Over 40 million post-World-War II baby boomers will reach the retirement age of 65 between 2010 and 2040, an average of 1,000 per day.
3. In Flemming v. Nestor (1960), the US Supreme Court upheld that Nestor, a retiring, legal immigrant who had paid into the system for 19 years, could be denied Social Security.
Visit http://socialsecurity.procon.org for more information about privatizing social security, or visit www.procon.org to see all the issue websites of ProCon.org.
ProCon.org is a 501(c)3 nonprofit public charity whose mission is promoting critical thinking, education, and informed citizenship. ProCon.org websites are free, require no registration, contain no advertising, and have no bias.
Information is presented on 27 different ProCon.org issue websites in subjects ranging from health care and medical marijuana to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and illegal immigration.
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Contact: Kamy Akhavan, Managing Editor
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