How Would You Fix It?

December 19, 2004

A week ago we asked you to imagine yourself as a politician on a mission to fix Social Security - without losing your seat in Congress.

Nearly 100 of you played the Social Security game developed by the American Academy of Actuaries and then sent us your solutions. (You can still play online at baltimoresun.com/ssgame).

You made tough choices. You volunteered to raise taxes, increase the retirement age, and, yes, even cut benefits.

Many of you ventured outside the game's fixes and developed your own, such as scaling back the program to its original purpose as a retirement system or using the billions of dollars spent on foreign aid to shore up Social Security.

Frustration with Congress was a common theme. Many of you suggested legislators return the funds they borrowed from the system and keep their hands off. Others favored moving politicians out of their own pension plan and enrolling them into Social Security, so they would have a vested interest in the plan's success. (These fixes may get you re-elected, but you'll be eating alone in the Capitol cafeteria for a long time.)

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