Privatizing Social Security



President Bush wants to swap your Social Security insurance plan for a lottery ticket. Social Security has a stabilizing effect on people's incomes in a very positive way. Without this guaranteed benefit, more than 50 percent of seniors would live in poverty.

Success of Social Security depends on the following: 1) Universibility, 2) Portability, 3) Purchasing power, 4) Disability protection, 5) Reliability, 6) Safety net, 7) Low administrative cost.

Great Britain privatized its Social Insurance System for the elderly in 1984 under conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, to replace a program she claimed would be unaffordable in 50 years.

Now Britain's Pensions Commission says Thatcher's privatization plan is living in a "Fool's paradise." It's mishandling scandal led to insurance companies paying more than $20 billion in compensation to workers who were sold pension plans that made them worse off. The Bush privatization scheme looks suspiciously like Britain's.

Ironically, Britons are now looking to return to a Social Security system.

Bob Jacobs, Payson

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