.
September 16th, 2008
05:43 PM ET

Do you agree with privatizing social security?

 Social Security could be privatized.

Social Security could be privatized.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The crisis on Wall Street is enough to rattle any investor... Let alone one who is about to retire or who's already living on a fixed income.

401(k)s and pension plans - many of which have exposure to these troubled companies - are taking huge hits as a result of this mess.

Luckily we have the safety net of Social Security to fall back on... For now.

You may remember just four years ago President Bush made a big push to partially privatize Social Security... You know so we could individually invest our future with the great minds on Wall Street. It failed back then, but that concept could still become a reality. See John McCain also supports supplementing Social Security with private investment accounts. His opponent Barack Obama does not.

Here’s my question to you: In light of the failures of large financial institutions, is privatizing Social Security a good idea?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Juliana writes:
You're delusional to think about dismantling our nation's only financial safety net for retirees, during this time of economic instability. Privatization is a capitalist concept driven only by avarice and greed. I already highly suspect my very hard earned 401(k) monies are a pyramid scheme for the rich, so please don't give them our social security dollars to squander on risky investments, too.

Jonathan writes:
Social Security is just that, social “security”. By privatizing social security, it does nothing more than remove that fundamental principal it is based upon.

Gale from New York writes:
Given the level of ineptitude, deliberate blindness and general lemming tendencies of most Americans, no. We're just too stupid to do this on our own.

Grace writes:
If it wasn't for FDR and Social Security, I would be living with my Republican children. Enough said.

M.J. writes:
Why don't we just give McCain and Phil Graham all our money and they can just put us in camps, where they can ration our food and blankets? No, I don't want them gambling with my social security. Haven't they done enough?

Steven writes:
If you like all the excitement we've seen in our economy, culminating in the last few days' excitement on Wall Street, you're going to “fundamentally” love the excitement to your retirement plans brought about by the privatization of social security.

Jan from Illinois writes:
Jack, I just received my first Social Security check last month. After 45 years of working it's not much, but I need every single penny. If there's any chance of privatization – well, I can't take the risk of not having this money. $581 a month isn't much, but it beats the HECK out of nothing!


Filed under: Social Security
soundoff (180 Responses)
  1. Bonnie / Arkansas

    No, I do not agree with "profitizing" Social Security. Enough with turning everything into a hog-trough for the big contributors!

    September 16, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  2. Charles, Lansing, MI

    The answer is obvious. 401k's have lost an average of 40% of their worth since the president proposed privatization. At least with the present situation, the government will be paying on its IOU's until the Chinese force us into bankruptcy. And Wall Street hasn't been able to steal any of it.

    September 16, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  3. Jim, from Las Vegas

    I've always been against that and recent events just underscore why. But there is no doubt that we need sound fiscal policy by our Federal government if Social Security is to work as intended. Mortgaging our future to China and others simply doesn't make any sense.

    September 16, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  4. Frank from Peterborough

    Well Jack in Canada when we work a portion of our income tax goes towards a Canada Pension fund and an Old Age government pension.

    One of the reasons this is successful is if people like myself throughout my years had to rely on saving for retirement we wouldn't simply because the money would have been spent as in most cases we could have always used those few extra dollars.

    But by those few extra dollars not being seen by us middle class working stiffs we didn't miss it but we sure appreciate the government having done this on our behalf now we are retirement age.

    To answer you question Jack governments that have the foresight to develop programs for their average and lower income families whether it be universal health care or pensions is just responsible governing although I guess you people consider it entitlement.

    September 16, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  5. Colleen, Charlotte, NC

    Privatizing Social Security does nothing to address the long-term funding concerns. Diverting funds to private accounts would reduce available funds to pay current retirees, requiring significant borrowing. To date the government has borrowed and spent the accumulated surplus funds, called the Social Security Trust Fund. During 2007, the Fund held $2.2 trillion in government bonds—essentially "IOU's" or claims on the government's general fund or tax revenues. This amount is part of the total national debt of $9.6 trillion. By 2017, the government is expected to have borrowed nearly $4.3 trillion against the Social Security Trust fund. By 2041, the Fund is expected to be officially exhausted.

    Barrack's plan makes sense, he would ask those making over $250,000 to contribute a bit more to Social Security to keep it sound

    September 16, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  6. Dan

    No, over regulationo of wall street could be as bad as under regulation. We hear the calls for regulation now, imagine how much louder that would be if every citizen had his social security tied up in the market. There is a postivie to having a secure investment in social security while letting the markets run on the rules of business.

    Also, the risk factor would affect all of us. If a lot of people lost money in their privatized social security accounts...do you think we'd let them starve in their old age? It would be political suicide not to step in and save them, and we'd all pay the cost to support those that lost money.

    September 16, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  7. David of Alexandria VA

    Unless the regulatory landscape changes, no it isn't. If the government wants more people to be able to manage a portion of their own retirement funds, the government needs to provide better oversight to the investment process.

    This lack of effective regulatory mechanisms cost us dearly in the dot-com bust and it is costing us dearly now.

    Americans have been having to be more retirement-self-relient for years - what do you think this past week has done to the plans retirement plans and security of millions of Americans? How about to the pension funds which have to provide for the future of the rest?

    As often as we have proven that America can do anything when it sets its mind to it, we have proven that we can just as surely fall pathetically victim to our own inattention and short-sightedness. We have health care, retirement, energy, immigration, and more queuing up for the "inattention" prizes.

    We need to wake up, take a long view, and get Congress out of it's gridlock or the social security question becomes moot.

    September 16, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  8. Cathy, Illinois

    No. Privatizing social security is not an option. Look at the mess our financial markets are in right now. I do not want the additional risk of loosing my social security, as well. It may be all I have left if things continue as they are going.

    September 16, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  9. pat

    NO!

    Pat
    Elkmont, Alabama

    September 16, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  10. James

    Most definitely! Privatize social security. But don't let the absurdity stop there. Privatize education. Privatize the police force. Maybe we could even privatize politicians. I would love to see John McCain walking around with a big fat "Budweiser Beer" logo on his back, or a "I support Georgia–they gave me thousands" t-shirt.
    With CEO's like Dick Fuld (of Leyman Brothers) giving themselves $22 million dollar bonuses while their whole company goes to pot, why on earth would we want to put our future in their hands? Do we really want corporate greed securing our future?

    September 16, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  11. Mary - Santee CA

    That is laughable considering what is now happening to the financial market. It would appear the private sector cannot do any better than the government. As someone on Social Security it certainly doesn't appeal to me.

    Mary
    Santee CA

    September 16, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  12. Patrick, Tampa Bay, Florida

    Social security is a safety net that must be kept under government management. Privatization would be a serious mistake.

    September 16, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  13. Martin, GA

    Never!! Look what is going to happen to the private pension plans... people are losing seriously money ... in fact I may have ...
    We cannot allow these to happen. People here are paranoid about government taking control but pension and in my opinion health insurance should be regulated by the gov. Look we all are getting sick and old and that is just the truth. Give it in the hand of some people who want to make money then they will rip you off... I am against this!

    September 16, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  14. Paulette Dallas PA

    No. The government should pay back ALL of the money it has borrowed from this fund over the years and have it properly managed by qualified people.

    September 16, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  15. Pliny - St. Louis, MO

    Jack,
    I agree with privitizing social security. I do not trust the government to save my money because so far it has spent all social security funds. Ideally, I would like the government to let me decide how much money, if any, I want to save for retirement, but if I'm going to be forced to save I at least want the money to remain in an account payable to me where politicians can't squander it.

    Pliny
    St. Louis, MO

    September 16, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  16. Susan from Georgia

    Poistively not. Can you imagine what would be going on today, if Bush-McCain et al had been given the reign to do so? Their would be a totalling collapse of the economy and bread lines like in the Great Depression!

    September 16, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  17. Scott - Wichita, Kansas

    If it means that my money is safe from being used by the government to pay off our debt, YES.

    September 16, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  18. Joseph, Ontario

    If privatized, can you still call it a 'Security'?
    Another proof that McBush doesn't get it!

    September 16, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  19. JS

    No way, the fat cats on Wall street would love it though.

    September 16, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  20. Jim in Puyallup

    O Yea!!!! It's a great idea , take my evil social security money away from before I damage myself with it!!!!!

    September 16, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  21. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    I was always in favor of opting out of SS. But that was a time when we didn’t have fools and criminals running our largest corporations making very bad choices. Today it is a terrible idea and will continue to be so until Republicans are out.

    September 16, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  22. Annie Kraft Naples FL

    no way...you have only to look at the situation today with investment banks who were salivating at the money they could make in privatizing social security to know this...if people want to invest they can in funds, IRAs etc. leave social security alone ... it is guaranteed and always there ....we hope

    September 16, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  23. LaVerne E Brison from Los Angeles, Ca.

    Jack: Look at the mess on wall street. Leave social security alone. Why are the republicans so hell bent on destroying every social program ?

    September 16, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  24. Doug from Bloomington IN

    No. It is an intriguing idea, but look what happens to the markets. Social Security is supposed to be a "guarantee" that something will be there when you reach retirement age. No risk, no reward....but no punishment, either.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  25. Keith - Cleveland, OH

    Certainly not, Jack.... There is no problem with the original design of Social Security. Where the problem lies is with congress and their secretive, political, conniving by borrowing from the general fund on many occasions... There would be more than enough funds, now and in the future if they would have kept their hands off of it.. And further more, I believe that they will siphon off more any time that they feel 'froggy'... Then they have the nerve to tell us that our system is broken... BS, Jack.

    These idiots can't do anything but split hairs, argue, and take vacations.... all at our expense...

    September 16, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  26. Jayne

    Social security should absolutely not be privatized. As shown this week, it would be a travesty to entrust what is sometimes the sole source of income for seniors to greedy Wall St. brokers. John McCain – Mr. Nine Homes – is in favor of privatizing it. Apparently he has stock in a cat food company because that's what the elderly would find themselves eating.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  27. Jay-Mississippi

    I still believe that Social Security should be privatized or at least securitized in such a way that we are invloved with how the money grows during our working years and insuring that the government cannot raid the social security coffers.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  28. Jim

    Phil Gramm plus Congressional Conservatives, added to 40,000 lobiests, with Larry Kudlow and his entorage of "free marketiers" combined with CEO's with "irrational exuberance salaries" should first put up all their assets to bail out the product of their beliefs. Unregulated free markets leverage greed, corruption, lying, and a host of other things as Phil Gramm put into the right words but aimed at the worng place when he observed " We have a Nation of Whiners"

    And you want to add Social Security to this poker game? No Way!

    September 16, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  29. joe from r.i.

    hi jack, in a word .... no

    September 16, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  30. Tom in New Hope, MN

    Absolutley not!

    September 16, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  31. Lois

    No privatizing social security. Just have the corporations who borrowed and are hiding offshore and not forwarding the monies they have taken out of poor people's paychecks PAY UP and there will be no need for privatization. Don't let John McCain get to this money like Enron. He will be exonnerated again by BIG BUCKS and it too will overseas in Iraq or invested in more corporatations. LEAVE IT ALONE!
    COMPRENDE.

    Lois

    September 16, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  32. Christie, Michigan

    The way I see it, the federal government's primary roll should be to protect its citizens – and that means protection from predatory corporations and companies whose only goal is their bottom line. We have seen exactly what de-regulation and privitization has done – it has widened the gap between rich and poor. Social security is one of the only saving graces we have left that looks out for the little guy, and not the bottom line of a private company. Leave it alone!

    September 16, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  33. Mike Cassidy, Cleveland, Ohio

    Since we are looking at Great Depression version 2.0, privatizing Social Security would not be a good idea. The benefits might not be great, but it is nice to have a solid backup plan in case of failures on Wall Street.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  34. Bruce St Paul MN

    It is not now, nor has it ever been a good idea. It's just another fraudulent proposal by the Republicans. They can't stand to have that much money trading hands without them getting a slice of it. A large slice. Imagine where we'd be if they had gotten their way ten years ago and that money had been in the stock market. Wall street would have gotten their share, and ours would be up in smoke. They have been trying to push social security and medicare into crisis so they can "rescue" it with privatization. They are greedy parasites and should not be believed under any circumstances.
    '

    September 16, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  35. sharon kitchen

    NO......

    September 16, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  36. David from Kentucky

    Jack it means she is tring to run the clock down until after the
    election for all this to come out. This is the same crap Bush used
    and it seemed to work!

    September 16, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  37. garrick

    hi jack
    no,we have lost enough to wall street,look alot of us will not have to worry about social security because it wont be their,plus you will have to work till you die.
    clearwater,fl

    September 16, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  38. MW/ Newman, CA

    uh . . . . . . NO Imagine what would have happened if Bush's bright idea turned into reality. McCain is Bush #2. Get a clue!!!

    September 16, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  39. Brett Oriskany,Va

    I am recently retired an am terrified that the government is going to take away what little i,ve got. My investments have taken a beating from Wall streets ongoing collapse and now they want my social security. I served my country in Vietnam and this is the kind of thanks I get. McCain/Palin scare the hell out of me! Sorry Mc Cain, i dont make $500,000+ a year and own too many houses to count, but I read and watch the news, which it seems a large majority of my countrymen don,t.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  40. Ron K.

    NO WAY!!!!!!

    Look at the FINANCIAL MESS. I don't trust any of E'm.

    Ron San Diego

    September 16, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  41. David from Kentucky

    No Jack its a very bad idea! Just think all the money that would be lost.
    I dont think the American people want to gamble their social security away!

    September 16, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  42. Terry, Chandler AZ

    I have never been favor of privatizing social security because of this very reason. Soocial Security would not be social nor would it be secure if it were privatized.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  43. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    Jack, if anyone has to ask that question then they obviously must have been asleep for the last 5 days. The Wall Street implosion is a very good example why we should NOT allow privitazion of Social Security. Social Security would not be in trouble if the Government would stop dipping into the fund and leaving only IOU's, that they will never repay.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  44. Darlene PA

    NO!

    September 16, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  45. Elaine

    Good grief–no! Here's a few reasons–Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and AIG. And think of all the jobs lost when thousands of assisted-living facilities are forced to close because of the collapse of the social security system.

    Elaine
    Michigan

    September 16, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  46. Jan NY

    No, No NO. Look at what is happeneing today. The people who are supposed to know what they are doing have driven the market into the ground. What you would have happen is more people turning to shady characters in an unregulated "profession" ( lightly used term) to help them manage their choices and after the last year you can see what a disaster that would be.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  47. Donna

    NO WAY.......NO WAY.........NO WAY........NO WAY.........NO WAY.........

    September 16, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  48. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    It was never a good idea. These recent events just serve to drive the point home.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  49. Shafi Alam

    Independent financial institutions have shown failures in their management of money. The republican nominee John McCain is continuing to claim that fundamentals of economy is good, even after being reminded that American people in general are suffering from all kinds of financial problems. How can we leave the fate of social security of almost all Americans in the hands of some private people? We cannot trust any bunch of people for this.

    Shafi Alam
    Tokyo, Japan

    September 16, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  50. Tom, Avon, Maine, The Heart of Democracy

    Absolutely not. Look at what a good job the free market did with our investments.

    An unregulated market is a market free to fleece the public and then receive a tens of millions golden handshake instead of prison.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  51. Tina (Fort Worth)

    No it should never be privatized. Look at wall street now. And we have not gotten the bill for the war yet. That is the scary thing. Time we get that Bush and crew will be out of office, the new president will open the war bill and faint dead on the spot.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  52. CRAIG R. MCNEES

    tampa, fl. social security was just fine until our politicians got a hold of all that money just sitting there that could be spent on pork. stop borrowing and paying back into the system will save social security. keep robbing it to fund pork and giving illegal aliens access to social security will seal it's demise.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  53. Mari Fernandez, Salt Lake City, Utah

    NO........ the record show that we, Americans are saving money at the rate of 1%! Given the fact that the majority of Americans are in serious debt, and not prepared for retirement, privatizing Social Security would be a disaster!

    September 16, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  54. KarenB in Polk County, Florida

    NO, a thousand times NO.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  55. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    Privatizing social security…have you paid attention to the stock market recently?

    Jack, if people want to privatize it, then they should have that option. If not, then you should not have to do it. It should not be one or the other.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  56. carol

    Absoultly no! Can you imagine where Social security would be today if it was run by greedy men. Going down the toilet with the banks and home lending companys. We need to stop goverment from using it NOW and return all moneys taken for other uses.

    carol
    Springfield, Oregon

    September 16, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  57. Jim Dittmer

    The Australians did. I understand that a lot of them are sorry about it. Lots of pretty frightened older folks over there.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  58. Donnie H.

    Social Security needs to rethought in order to better benefit the retiree who does not invest in 401K's or IRA's. It should not be privatized or invested on Wall Street as the proposal was some years ago. It should be made better from its present form to a more viable and responsive system for those Americans who participate in this program until retirement age.

    Donnie
    Fort Worth, TX

    September 16, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  59. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Sure just like the polls in Texas show Obama ahead 80% to McSame's 20%.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  60. Kenny in Va.

    Reluctantly I'll say yes because even if it failed I believe the government would step back in and save it. Tell me of one politician who would vote against doing so.

    I'm 45 and make an okay salary (60K) but I still rent and have almost no savings. Suddenly that monthly check seems a little more important than it did in my pre-millionaire youth dream days.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  61. Donnie H.

    Social Security needs to be rethought in order to better benefit the retiree who does not invest in 401K's or IRA's. It should not be privatized or invested on Wall Street as the proposal was some years ago. It should be made better from its present form to a more viable and responsive system for those Americans who participate in this program until retirement age.

    Donnie
    Fort Worth, TX

    September 16, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  62. Melissa Williams-Maddox

    have you been looking at wallstreet? ss is not an investmest it is insurence. also if john mccain knows the problem with wallstreet why get a cmmision to look at it,you use a commision when you do not know what to do.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  63. Katiec Pekin, IL

    NO, we should not privatize Social Security.
    What we should do is pass a law where the politicians
    cannot touch it.
    Social Security would be in good shape if the government
    had not "borowed" from it.
    And, would be if ever it was repayed. Gee, what planet
    do I live on??

    September 16, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  64. Andre R. Newcomb

    No.

    Andy of Sierra Vista, Arizona

    September 16, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  65. Esther Cuyahoga Falls OhiO

    are you joking with us today. banks bankrupt, AIG in the toliet, are you going to let that group who spent the lunch money and then ask for more. no way

    September 16, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  66. Calvin, Indiana

    Hell no.
    If I wanted to trust my retirement in this economy I'd play the damn lotto!

    September 16, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  67. james fl

    YES................

    September 16, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  68. Jason, Koloa, HI

    If Republican'ts want it................It must be a horrible idea.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  69. perry jones

    no i do beleve that the best thing to do with this program is to TAKE the CONGRESS 'S controll away from them they have proven they can be trusted
    perry j

    September 16, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  70. Joe, Arlington, Virginia

    Do you mean like the Postal Service, Fannie May or Freddie Mac? I don't think so!

    September 16, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  71. Felicia

    Yes, if you really want to get rid of the middle class.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  72. kim

    bottom line no!

    September 16, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  73. Bob

    Jack, it depends on what "privatizing" Social Security means. If it means that individuals would receive Social Security benefits from two sources - the government and through individual retirement type accounts, I'd say YES. Social Security and Medicare are continuing to eat up a larger portion of the total Federal pie and this would be one way to help reduce those increases. Would it work? Well, Federal employees are currently doing just that - receiving reduced Social Security payments supplemented by an IRA-type account - if they can do it so can everyone else. This would have to be applied to those brand new to the workforce, but would certainly reap long-term benefits to reducing Federal spending.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  74. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Let's see; Bears-Stern failed; Fannie Mae and Freddie Mack, failed; Lehman Brothers in an economic tumoril; Warren Buffet will not guarantee or lend money greater that what the FIDC insured. I guess if the Republicans want to resolve the Social Security crisis, sure.....invest in one of the above.......and blame it on Bush. Hell No. At least if the government runs out of money, they can get Frank to work overtime and print more.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  75. carol kesling

    NO,NO,NO.... no way no how no mcsame, no pain in the butt palin!!!!!!!

    September 16, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  76. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    Why not privatize social security, then we can have some ceo pulling down a million a year plus bonus to manage the company and he can farm out the work to a corner building in Bombay India. Then try calling for your medicare information. Do you have any more of these questions so you can feed these dopes in Washington DC with ideas.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  77. RKing

    Definitely not. Look at what is happening now.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  78. mitchell ,arkansaw

    hell no! that in itself is reason enough not to vote for mccain.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  79. Ed Reed

    No. Social Security is an insurance program. Didn't it used to be called the Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance? At any rate, it's not a piggy bank for Wall Street to raid.

    Ed Reed
    Port Aransas, TX

    September 16, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  80. andrea from las vegas, nv

    Don't those money hungry millionaire Republicans have enough money without having to get their hands on our social security dollars?
    All one has to do is to look at the what they have done to large corporations and financial institutions in recent years to know what they would do when they get their hands on our social security funds – secure their own personal wealth.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  81. Paloma

    For those of us who are seeing our 401K's shrink, it becomes even more compelling to preserve the safety net of social security rather than investing it in the stock market as the privatization proponents suggest. A bird in hand......

    September 16, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  82. dennis hunter

    social security should not be private or split so the citizens can gamble with their retirement fund. social security was set up so people do not have to work until they die or become part of social services which would kill government funds.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  83. Judie from St. Augustine, Fl.

    Hell No!
    If it is working, why try to break it. Can't the politicans leave anything alone. While SS is not allowing anyone to live as well as the McCain and Palin families, it at least allows them to live. McCain/Palin leave us low income families who rely on SS alone. We do not need this kind of help from you.
    Judie
    St. Augustine, Fl

    September 16, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  84. Jes (State College, PA)

    Sure Jack then in 20 years we can get the government to bail us out!!!

    September 16, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  85. Scott in Oregon.

    No! If the Republicans had their way, we would already have privatized social security and after this "Once in a century" economic collapse, we would have had millions of baby boomers crying foul; the Republican ones too.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  86. Brad Mahoney

    Privatizing Social Security would be the equivalent of investing your Fire Department's budget at the race track. You might make a lot of money, but you'd most likely just get burned.

    Brad Mahoney, Memphis, TN

    September 16, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  87. Mike, Naples.FL

    I think if government is paying $10Billion a month in Iraq, it should be able to take care of our Social Security benefit.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  88. Rob Weiss, Tucson, Arizona

    Social Security is and antiquated system, designed back in FDR's days. The people who pay into the system are outnumbered by the people who poorly planned their future and are now receiving. It also has never taken inflation into consideration too well either.
    Something has to be done, but I have to tell you, with all the dept that is racked up, along with all the tax increases that are to be expected, we will be living like they do in Canada or in Europe, where I can see 70% tax brackets and probably a VAT (Value Added Tax) to boot.
    This will end in another Civil War when it is all over.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  89. Beth Bangert, IN

    Please do not privatize SS. I try to live on $800/month now and can't make it. After black monday all would have gone poof. It is bad enough Bush 43 has raided SS to oblivion now. Wish 50,000 voters would have decided to lock the box when they had the chance.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  90. John from Rohnert Park, CA

    Why is this an "either – or" proposition? Why not a system of both! Look, the government has already proven that alone they can and will screw this up badly. Allowing private money to equally pitch in along WITH the government provides a system of checks and balances that we will all benefit from.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  91. Linda in smalltown Indiana

    NO, NO, and NO! Where would our social security be today with the stock market in a dive? That isn't even funny, Jack.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  92. Lucy from Connecticut

    If it's privatized then I want all my Soc Sec money given back to me beforehand. They won't be able to pay me/us off!

    September 16, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  93. Dee

    No way. The numbers from the 2008 budget tell it all.
    Receipts from Social Security payroll taxes $927.2 billion
    Spending on Social Security $608 billion
    Spending on Medicare $386 billion
    Total spending on --
    Social Security & Medicare $994 billion

    The shortfall is only $67 billion. If those receipts were invested in safe Treasury notes earning about 7%, the annual interest from those notes would offset the shortfall. That may not be possible given the obscene national deficit, but the real numbers show that Social Security is not in trouble.
    The only reason for privatizing or investing Social Security taxes in the stock market would be to allow a select few greedy investment managers and brokers to line their pockets with commissions and fees from buying and selling with the public money, while the American people take the losses. Anyone who advocates privatizing the system either does not understand it or does not care at all about the American people.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  94. Marie Ontario

    Well Jack the sad truth is as average citizens of either the U.S. or Canada or for that matter any other modern society just aren't knowledgeable enough to make wise investment decisions which would likely end up with none of us having any retirement income at the end of our working lives.

    I just can't emphasize enough how secure and thankful I am that our government has had the foresight to develop a universal health care system and two old age pension systems for our collective benefit.

    Many Americans likely consider us an evil socialist country but as Canadians we consider ourselves so lucky to live in such modern and caring society in the 21st Century.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  95. Christine in CT

    No. As it is, we have too much to lose without tighter regulations. Social Security was supposed to be guaranteed if you pay into it, not a gamble. I think we've all seen what corporate investors have done to Wall Street- leave my retirement alone!

    Christine
    Waterbury CT

    September 16, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  96. Annie, Atlanta

    Yeah, right, Jack. Where would those accounts be about now if they were all or partly based on funny money. And amazingly John McCain has come out for privatizing social security too, and the race is tied. And he's winning in Florida. I'm confused.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  97. Dan Pa

    Jack,
    No this is a scary though if bush could have gotten this passed most of the American people would now have lost all there retirement income. Bush wanted to privatize and then give help to show the American people how to invest into the housing market. If McCain is elected and gets this to pass what crazy scam will he be pushing for us to invest into?? The republican slogan should read we take for the middle class and give to the top 1%. the rich get richer and the middle class just gets screwed.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  98. Mary Ryan

    My goodness no to privitizing social security. Senior citizens suffer enough during these trying times. I can't believe I voted for Bush. I must have been crazy. We need relief and Obama and Biden will be a gift from the Almighty.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  99. Janet, Senior W/F Voter

    If it is privatized then lets KISS our BUTTS Good bye and be thank full for the pieces of coal from McBush and PalCheney!

    September 16, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  100. Geri Britt

    In light of the recent and on-going failures regarding our financial institutions Jack. . . . . Surely you jest!

    Geri – Mead, OK

    September 16, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  101. Paul

    Jack,
    A BIG NO! To do that would be throwing the baby out with the old bathwater. It does need adjustment and fine tuning but not making it private. Look at some of your nieghbors on the current system that can either pay for their medications or food not both. Why not make medications free for seniors. Oh, that's right the private drug companies would not like that at all because then the prices of their products would really be looked at closer then. Our government is only getting larger not smaller under this adminstratrion and doing less for the little guy and more for the Fat Cats.
    Paul
    Round Rock, Texas

    September 16, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  102. Al, Lawrence KS

    No. What we need are laws that keep the grubby hands of our elected officials out of the Social Security trust fund. There has always been enough money to fund Social Security. Where is that "Lock Box" when you need it?

    September 16, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  103. Peter in Alberta,Canada

    Of course Jack. It should have been privatized years ago. I think that if in 2006 it had been privatized, then there would have been great gains in its solvency...oh wait...some gains...oh wait ...only minor losses...oh wait...temporary major losses...oh damn..no it's a bad idea!

    September 16, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  104. Mary Ryan

    I'd love it if the Bush admination would give back all the monies taken for the social security fund. We'd be able to stretch this fund into the future.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  105. Andrew

    social security by name implies "security". How can anyone believe that being in the high risk investment market is a Secure way of protecting our futures. Social security will never be secure in the private sector.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  106. Mike Smith, New Orleans LA

    No, privatizing social security is just the government's way of saying "We can't administer such a big thing." And it would put people's futures in the hands of people like Ken Lay and so many others who cannot resist corporate greed.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  107. Marc, Canada

    Jack

    There are reasons why people in many other countries are happier and live longer than our friends to the south. Universal healh care and government run pension plans like social security are just two of those reasons.

    By privatizing social security the American government would basically be saying it's okay for a 3rd party to make a profit at the taxpayers expense.

    It's beyond me why every senior citizen with a modest income in the USA isn't voting for Barack Obama. They would basically live tax free, they would universal health care and have their social security protected and budgeted for.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  108. Patricia F Pine Plains NY

    Can anyone imagine with the beating the market has been taking of late, having all you eggs there. At my age, I'd climb to the highest floor of a nearby building and throw myself off.

    No, leave it alone. I do not agree.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  109. PW, Arizona

    If Bush had succeeded in privatizing Social Security when he wanted to, the situation today would be much worse. Most people have little concept of how to invest, so we rely mainly on 401Ks. Those in turn rely largely on managed funds, and the fund managers all got greedy and invested in shaky mortgage-backed securities. That's at the root of all the failures we are seeing now. Privatized Social Security would have meant much deeper losses for individual investors.

    Look how many people took out dangerous mortgages and are defaulting now, and how many took cash-out refis and are underwater now as a result. Those people would most likely not have saved a penny - in fact they often spent the cash they took out of their greatest asset. As it is, many of them are fleecing the system stilli with renegotiations that reduce the amount they owe. Banks were foolish to lend to people who could not pay back, but why should they care when it's a commission-based business and they were not taking the risk on loans they wrote. Until now.

    Unless the system requires banks and brokers in all sectors to take responsibility for the performance of investment funds - perhaps pay based on long-range performance, what a concept - privatizing is a bad idea.

    Obama's idea of creating financial literacy is a good idea. The people who oppose that are the ones who walked away with fat severance checks after running their companies and institutions into the ground.

    What we need to do is stop privatizing profits and start privatizing losses. The CEOs and other top execs of these companies should have to forfeit their severance checks to the companies they tanked to contribute to rebuilding the companies and the economy. The idea that these multimillion-dollar payouts are a drop in the bucket only holds when you look at them one by one. Stack up the checks that the Fulds and Mozilos got and they could make quite a dent.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  110. Paul

    First of all, we are the ones paying for our parents and grandparents. It seems that the privatization crowd doesn't get that simple fact about how the system works. So ask all of those who favor privatization the following question: Are you prepared to take in your parents when they have no benefits to support themselves?

    September 16, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  111. Joe

    Loaded question! Social Security was supposed to be just that–secured, here one day and gone the next. If the government can bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and almost every other banker with his or her hand out, it can surely give retirees that small amount of security.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  112. Veronica

    Absolutely not. The majority of Americans would have no clue how to invest their money. Todays economic meltdown is another example of how dangerous it would be to play with people's retirement. Would the federal government be bailing out the little guy if social security were privatized today. THis is an idea that sounds good to the investment gurus but would be financial suicide for the regular working folks of America.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  113. Jake Barrer

    No but maybe the question is can the government run any state owned enterprise better than the private sector. current trends suggest they could but it seems all suggestion of government controls attract a knee jerk reaction from America is such a response fair the private sector will always justify its right to control everything its just its nature but considering its was social security used to save Freddy Mac and fanny May. I find it strange that most Americans Bork at any suggestion of socialism while always clinging to it times of trouble it’s a willful ignorance. America’s fear of communism has damaged its ability to appreciate simple truths. Yes jails, police, courts and social security are run by the government and smart America should be thanking there lucky stars for that but are they? Or is it always the mighty dollar that catches our eyes.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  114. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Jack, the return on investment for SS is pathetic. Certainly some of it could be invested long term in something other than gov't bonds. Perhaps not on an individual basis, but on a collective basis. These downturns never last, and on a long term basis, stocks and property always go up.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  115. Mary from Orlando

    This is an easy one, Jack. There are only two facts to consider.
    Fact #1: The government is set up to protect its people.
    Fact #2: The private sector is set up to make a profit for its stockholders.

    So....who should be in charge of our retirement ......the organization created to look out for our interests or the businesses designed to look out for their own? Hmmmmm.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  116. fanofann

    I have heard John McCain telling young people that it is unfair that money is taken out of their paychecks to pay for social security . He tells them they should have control over their own money.

    But he doesnt tell them that he himself, with a net worth of 100 million dollars, is collecting THEIR money in a social security check every month.

    It should just about cover the cost of those pretty loafers he wears to get on and off Cindy's plane. But then, as she says, there is practically no other way to travel around Arizona.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  117. Randy Horton

    Jack,
    What is all this about a "trust fund" and "insurance"? Social Security is, and never has been, either one. It is a benefit package funded by the money taken in through FICA tax deductions from people who work. It was and still is based on a demographic which assumes pre-birth-control and pre medically-induced-longevity numbers which no longer determine our population. It can't survive as it is, whether politicians borrow from it or not. We simply have more old people retiring and living longer (and more expensive) lives and fewer younger people paying FICA taxes to support them. Any insurance company which operated that way would be closed down as being monetarily unsound. That is, assuming the regulators did what they were set up to do. Which is a big assumption, I know.

    Randall Horton
    Yonkers, New York

    September 16, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  118. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    If Bush had had his way, anyone that had invested in privatized SS would be lucky to be eating cat or dog food. My wife and I have, in the past year, lost all of the gains we had made with our retirement investments over the previous 5 years. Whoever says that the Bush administration has had a great economy must be smoking dope.

    September 16, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  119. angie

    So why can John Mcain collect Social Security I belive he gets 2700 a month and he has 7 houses and a net worth of a 100 millon dollars laughable when he critizes social security little hipocritical john?

    September 16, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  120. Gary D Rhodes

    ABSOLUTELY!
    Do the numbers. The people who say nothing is wrong with S.S. are the same ones who would report that everything is going fine as they pass the 58th floor after leaping off a 60 story building.
    Remember, you could put your social security money in a bank too.

    Gary D Rhodes
    Spokane

    September 16, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  121. Jim Bailey

    Jack, this is the comic relief segment to wrap up your day right?
    With the way that Bush and the Republicans have violated this country and our economy my only honest answer has got to be, "are you high?"
    Jim Bailey
    Cripple Creek CO

    September 16, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  122. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Oh please, NO. At least when social security and medicare go broke, the government can crank up the presses and continue making payments with deflated dollars. Under the current system we don't have to worry about chapter 11 where we lose everything.

    September 16, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  123. John in Santa Barbara, CA

    Understand this. Most of the people expecting Social Security in the very near future, have been paying into it for over forty years of their lives. If they don't get those checks, for whatever reasons, there will be blood in the streets. Fooling with Social Security more than anything else, can tear this country apart.

    September 16, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  124. George

    NO, and for the reason you mentioned. Privatizing our Social Security System would put it directly in the hands of the same people that are having all of the problems now on Wall Street. I say keep it as far away from Wall Street as you can, or put all of the assets into a vault underneath Fort Know with all of the gold, and just maybe the profiteers won't be able to skim any off of the top. Let the Fat Cats work for, and earn a living just like the rest of us had to.

    September 16, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  125. Sine

    oh great privatize and deregulate one more thing so it can tank just like everything else.

    Give me a break.

    September 16, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  126. oliver

    Absolutely not! I don't trust McCain on anything to do with econmics. He was a member of the Keating 5 who ruin the savings and loan industry and now wants to save the economy; no thanks. If America can put aside the color of someone's skin color, we could elect a great president?

    September 16, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  127. Joe St Louis, MO

    Jack,

    Looking at the last few months I believe we have our answer. Giving wall street more money to loose is not what social security was design for. I believe Americans have given enough to the corporate system of greed.

    September 16, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  128. karen-phoenix

    PS: I live in AZ and sooo many people lost their entire retirement when McCain was involved in the Keating 5 and he should have gone to jail just like his friend Charlie Keating did!!! Some of these people committed suicide over their losses and McCain is responsible for murder!!!!

    September 16, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  129. Aaron, Corinth TX

    Jack, the only thing I think we can all agree on is that we need some extra matresses.

    Sence the government can't get it right, and the financial services industry can't get it right, I think I'm going to buy an extra king sized matress to stuff my money away in. At least I'll get a good nights sleep.

    September 16, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  130. Rob in Jacksonville, FL

    It doesn't matter either way, because when I am retirement age in 30 years, it will be gone regardless.

    September 16, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  131. L.A. Boston

    As an IRA Specialist, I would be for the idea if and only if the government allowed me to take my money or a portion of it and put it into an IRA type account that I control not the stock market. If I could put it into a CD then I will be assured an interest rate and term of my choosing. Other than that no I wouldn't want my retirement money floating around Wall Street relying on CEO's who can't run their own companies to invest my money into risky stocks and bonds leaving me nothing when I retire.

    Laura, Boston

    September 16, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  132. JW Georgia

    As if that money would stand a snowball's chance once in the hands of these shysters.

    Uh...I mean...no. Not a good idea.

    September 16, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  133. T. Rodney Tatum, South Florida

    Bread lines again? Soup kitchens for senior citizens who worked all of their adult lives and will have their futures guarded by the same people running Wall Street? Let us all not forget why social security was formed in the first place. Why do American's insist on going backwards instead of forward? This reminds me of this years presidential election.

    September 16, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  134. Spencer, Newport News, VA

    This is a tough one Jack. We can no longer depend on Wall St. to do what we the American people have entrusted them to do.

    September 16, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  135. Jake Barrer

    Do chickens lay the best eggs not the biggest, most or prettiest?
    Just the best
    Well of course not but they do lay the most reliable egg consistently and that’s why you have chicken eggs in your fridge sometimes reliability and consistency matter more then anything else. If you want a peacock egg that’s fine but when the peacocks finish laying you go hungry and it’s the chicken you’ll turn to. So my point is don’t knock what don’t need now because now can become then and you may need to cross the road much like the chicken whose eggs are small, slow and plain but tasty none the less. Did I mention real.

    Ok yep I lost it but you try starting with that sentence or don’t.

    Now that’s a real question jack.

    September 16, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  136. Edwin Pagan, New York City

    Sara Palin's refusal to cooperate with an official investigation into Troopergate is a clear signal that she will practice the same Washington culture created in Carl Rove's petri dish and fine-tuned and put to market under the Bush administration. That along should give voters pause.

    September 16, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  137. barb

    No, social security should not be privatized. Look at the financial mess wall street is in. There goes my hard earned retirement funds. I guess john and cindy don't need to woory about retirement funds or health care. The federal govt. employees are the few left with a pension. not to mention cindy's 6 million a year income.

    September 16, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  138. Jim

    Jack,

    Social Security is the difference between regular meals and starvation for too many Americans. It must remain 100% safe. If a privatization approach exists that GUARANTEES its safety and still earns a percent or two more, then go for it. Otherwise, leave it alone.

    September 16, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  139. Dennis, Ama.,TX

    Jack,

    As a recipent of SS, I really think it would be a great idea to privatize it, then I could begin to really start knowing how my Grandparents/Parents lived thru the Great Depression. Sometime I wonder if we,ve elected an idiot or if we're the idiots for allowing him to still be in Office, no more McSame!

    September 16, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  140. Allen L Wenger

    No. This is being pushed by the party that wants to end social security, now do you get the connection?

    Allen
    Mountain Home, ID

    September 16, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  141. John Seevers

    Social Security definitely should not be privitized. All we would do is end up having to bail out whatever private company or companies became involved. And after all the private companies we have bailed out in the last several years, NO ONE should be even HINTing that we cannot afford Medicare.

    September 16, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  142. ALECO -----NOKOMIS,FL

    A VERY VERY BAD IDEA.

    September 16, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  143. Janice

    NO

    There should be one source of retirement savings of last resort that is untouchable and is not subject to the market and whether or not a political party is in the White House that minds the regulatory store of that market. We've already seen what happens!

    This notion social security won't be there and is in deep trouble is propaganda. It would not take much to secure social security funding back to where it needs to be to take us through the boomer retirement. Raising the amount of income subject to the FICA withholding would almost do it by itself. That doesn't seem too much to ask of those in that top income bracket for their own personal security of last resort as well as those less fortunate.

    Janice, Aberdeen, SD

    September 16, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  144. Jackie Saner

    Does it come as any surprise since this party has shown such disdain for our constitution and the laws that govern this country? Sarah Palin is taking advice from the best, Karl Rove.

    September 16, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  145. Min/Florida

    Absolutely not.

    September 16, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  146. Roland-St.George, UT

    Someone else's loss is always someone else's gain on Wall Street.
    So I think the question that really needs to be asked of these politicians who want to privatize Soc. Security is, specifically, "What (or should I say WHO) do you know that the rest of us don't?"

    September 16, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  147. Robin

    I had to just shake my head yesterday when I heard McCain say our financial situation has been played out like a Las Vegas Casino. Then how come Senator McCain you want to privatize our Social Security??? That would be a big Las Vegas gamble.

    September 16, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  148. Bruce H.

    Only if we want people to have absolutely nothing to fall back on.

    September 16, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  149. mike / iowa

    I do believe race plays a big part of the race because if he was white , he be in triple digits. You are seeing what happening in the polls, the white citizans are willing to vote for a women for vp, then vote for a black president, From worried white in Iowan.

    September 16, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  150. Dale

    Jack, privatized our social security?, You have got to be kidding, Jack, it would be like we are all hanging on the rim of the crapper, just waiting for the G.O.P. to flush us...Dale from Iowa..

    September 16, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  151. Harold from Anchorage, AK

    It would work out about as well as privatizing the military: look at Blackwater! you really want a bunch of cowboys running your retirement, too?

    September 16, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  152. Rodney Hopper Waxahachie, TX

    Hell no!

    September 16, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  153. Joe Rogers

    St. Petersburg, FL

    Pivatizing has a synonym: GAMBLING This is why I add my
    emphatic NO to the hundreds before me.

    September 16, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  154. Cynthia

    The reason Social Security was created was because of situations like this nation now faces. It was designed to say "never again"to horrific treatment of our most vulnerable.

    The Irony is that the " Me FIRST" Same Social Set that caused the Great Depression are once again trying to recreate it Including removing the regulatory and social safety nets that have kept this NeoDepression from happening sooner.

    September 16, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  155. Kojo K.

    Once something is privatized, you automatically take away the important tool of oversight.

    Once you do that, all it takes is around 5 dishonest people to ruin the lives of millions...only to be slapped on the wrist, or leg- with an ankle bracelet.

    25 Atlanta/Brooklyn

    September 16, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  156. Carol from Massachusetts

    Yes. We can become money honeys.

    September 16, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  157. Barbara A. Brown

    I truly do believe that race is a factor. Americans love to go to other countries and tell them how to clean their houses but we can't clean our own.

    America is a racist country overall. Blacks have never had a choice in voting for an African American as President, but finally it has happened. An the old Black White issue has raised its ugly head again to taint our so called holier than thou image.

    A very large number of Whites, and surprisingly some Blacks, would rather go down the road of distruction with more Bushinism than elect an intelligent individual, because of the color of his skin. This man is educated which may be a threat to some of our blue collared white workers but he is a part of both races. Shocking!

    If they never again had a job, they would be willing to die in poverty than elect an inteligent African/American as President. of the "United" States of America.

    I will never forget the Blue collared White worker in a small Ohio town stating, "I would never vote for a (sounding the beginning of the N word) for a colored man as President." This sums it up. There are a lot of him out here.

    September 16, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  158. joseph

    To modify a McCain phrase - "Social Security first." If you have money left over then you can invest in IRAs or other private sector investment vehicles.

    September 16, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  159. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    Hold on a second here!! What's that strange feeling in my pocket? It feels like that old Republican pickpocket again, trying to steal my last penny. Privatizing Social Security is a guaranteed disaster of Republican porportions. Only the party of the inept and greedy would come up with this.

    September 16, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  160. Abel P. Ochoa

    ,,, is privatizing Social Security a good idea? What should be changed is the maximum amount of pay beyond which social security taxes are taxed. Every American should pay the same rate without exception or limit. Abel P. Ochoa, McAllen, TX

    September 16, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  161. Hazel from Florida

    So that the federal government can rescue retirement benefits, too? No privatizing of social security, period. Thanks, but no thanks!

    September 16, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  162. Denis, Ontario

    With the financial crisis coming to a head it's time to admit that nothing is "privatized" anymore. The government has been pumping money into the banks, Wall Street, and the energy sector for years and look how well that worked. So yes, why shouldn't Social Security be any different?

    September 16, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  163. sam

    NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 16, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  164. Timothy M. Samoni

    No way! Although the stock market generally appreciates at about 10% a lifetime, there should be at least one certainty in our lives beyond death and taxes.

    The beauty of this system is that, if properly funded, it would provide the financial security that it promises for every American. Maybe if we stop sending billions of our people's hard-earned dollars to pointless wars, selfish corporations, and the wealthiest 5% of Americans, we could properly fund Social Security and help the people who rely on it.

    September 16, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  165. Benny Holdren,Eaton Indiana

    NO WAY..The repbulicans never wanted us to have social security
    anyway..this is their way of getting rid of it.

    September 16, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  166. Donald in CA

    No, seniors better be glad that their social security is not tied to the stock market as the republicans would like it to be. Keep social security safe as it has been. But if i had nine homes i probably wouldnt need it any ways.

    September 16, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  167. Rachel in Orlando, FL

    Jack, I'm only 25, but I'm scared-to-death of what my retirement will look like. I have a pension plan through my company, but in the past year, it hasn't earned a dime in interest. In a perfect world, Bush is right–I could put away my own money for retirement. But this isn't a perfect world, and I'm having a hard enough time paying for the basic necessitie; social security is going to be my saving grace.

    September 16, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  168. AllisonfromTexas

    NO WAY!!!

    September 16, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  169. Brian, Columbia, Md.

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
    Because if it's privatized, we'll all go broke.

    September 16, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  170. Macario Obillo Jr. - San Jose, CA

    SSS should remain with the government. Stop paying CEO's and board members astronomical salaries that contribute more to the problems than to solutions. If you privatize the agency the officers pay themselves high salaries, then they increase premium contributions, and reduce the benefits.

    September 16, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  171. Debbie, IL

    NO! This would totally destroy all but the wealthiest in this country. Hmmmm . . . you think that's the point?

    September 16, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  172. Karl in CA

    No, it's from the party that wants to end Social Security and make the rich even richer and the poor even poorer. My investment are in the sewer and I'm hanging onto my SS check.

    September 16, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  173. cook4one

    Sounds like a great idea! I plan on unvesting my retirement money with Bear Stearns...ugh.. I mean Lehman. Oops!

    September 16, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  174. Popo Hippolyte

    There's absolutly no doubt in my mind that if senator Obama isn't elected President , it will simply because of his race.

    Popo Hippolyte
    Orlando, Fl

    September 16, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  175. Sal. D

    NO.
    Look at the kind of Financial market we have at this moment.
    No regulations at all, and further more people like McCain refused
    to vote for regulations.
    Such insanity.

    September 16, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  176. Denise

    In one word? No

    September 16, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  177. Kim, Wheelersburg, Ohio

    NO! OF COURSE Bush wanted to privitize Social Security 4 years ago – he just got finished looting the SS Trust Fund out of existence – wouldn't YOU rather privitize a fund rather than publicly disclose your own outright theft of public funds?

    September 16, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  178. Elsa Brown

    I'm sure it will in some places.

    September 16, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  179. Emily Summit, NJ

    NO to privatizing. People forget or don't know that Social Security, funded as it is, is an insurance policy. Give it to Wall Street to securitize, derivitize, bubbleize and it'll be gone in 5 years. But Wall Street would have a new toy to play with to shore up their bonuses for a while longer...

    for James' information – Budweiser is being purchased by a Belgian brewery and probably not a good logo for McCain. The media should release a complete list of the US corporations that have been sold to foreign countries. American jobs, forget about it! Middle class, forget about it.

    September 16, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  180. Lewis Hirschberg

    If the American people are already into debt at the rate that they are, what makes anyone think that they would be in enough control of their money to privately save for decades into the future?
    I'm against privitizing of social security.

    September 16, 2008 at 5:47 pm |