Social Security Needs Fixing

This is going to seem blasphemous, but Alan Greenspan's (search) right. Social Security is broke. And it does need fixing. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. It makes a lot of promises. But it doesn't have the dough to deliver on those promises.

Here's the bottom line.

We're all getting older. A lot more of us getting older than those young enough to keep paying for our social security when we retire. So something has to give.

We either raise the retirement age. Or start means testing. Or start raising taxes. Or all of the above.

Outraged? Good. You should be.

Because politicians who say they aren't outraged, and blithely go on saying Social Security's (search) ok ... Well, they're the outrage. No one likes to take something away. But we have to face some realities here. Social Security has grown way beyond its initial intentions.

Back when FDR came up with the idea, it was supposed to be a help in retirement. Now we've made it all of retirement. It's up to us to save more. Do more. Plan more. And the government to level with us more.

Look, if we want Social Security to be the whole enchilada, we better be willing to pay more, a lot more, for that enchilada.

Me? I don't have much faith in the government looking after me. I'd rather have me looking after me.

Corporations have already forced us to make more of these decisions for ourselves, taking away fixed pensions that they paid for to 401K programs that largely we pay for. It's not perfect. But then again, neither is Social Security.

I just told you that.

I'd feel a lot better if politicians had the guts to just fess up to that.

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