One thing that Art Linkletter (search) said on my show on Monday bears repeating: Social Security (search) is a very different program now than what it was intended to be. And Art should know — he was around when Franklin Roosevelt first proposed it!
As Art accurately pointed out, FDR never intended Social Security to be Americans' sole means of support in retirement. There'd be savings to consider and private pensions too.
But we didn't save and pensions didn't measure up. So Social Security was it and still is, for a lot of folks.
I take nothing away from those who need Social Security. But a system effectively providing the only retirement support for millions of people needs many more millions of people paying in to survive. And that isn't happening.
We've simply out-grown a system whose benefits go far beyond what the guy who came up with them envisioned.
They weren't supposed to be our whole retirement. Now they are.
And they weren't supposed to wipe out our individual responsibility to save and invest for our own future. Now they do.
I'm not saying junk Social Security. I am saying fix it.
If that means privatizing part of it, do it. If it means hiking the retirement age, do it. If it means fat cats — yes, like myself — don't get it, so be it.
Look, Social Security was never supposed to "take care of us" in retirement. It was meant only to help us in retirement. There is a difference. FDR knew that. It's a shame many in his own party since, have conveniently forgotten that.
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