How Would You Fix It?

Your Solutions

December 19, 2004|By Eileen Ambrose


By far, the most popular component of your suggested solutions - with about one-third in favor - was raising the amount of wages subject to Social Security tax by about $20,000 from the current $87,900. Some went even further.

Life is not fair. Why should Social Security withholding be different? Whatever the increase in wages subject to Social Security tax, a lower rate on the next one million dollars should be deposited in the trust fund without employer matching. ... If (the rich) can spend millions on mansions, many luxury cars, airplanes, large diamond rings and pay large fees to lawyers to keep them out of trouble, then they surely can afford an increase in Social Security taxes. Don Moore, Glyndon

Eliminate the cap and this will solve 77 percent of the problem with very little pain. The rich people will scream at first, but they will barely notice this slight reduction in their paychecks. In the long run, I assume their benefits at retirement would increase accordingly. Bruce Rollier, Ellicott City

If your employer can afford to pay you $200,000/year, he can afford to pay the additional 6.5 percent in employer contributions. And if you make $200,000 per year, you can afford to fully fund your 401k and many other retirement fund vehicles that exist; who cares that you don't receive any extra SS retirement benefits! You don't need it! Herb Egert, Arbutus

Increasing the retirement age for full benefits was the second most popular solution, with most of you leaning toward raising the retirement age to 70 by 2030.

In my opinion, as a retired 66-year-old, raise the retirement age to 70 by the year 2030. That allows those who are now at the height of their earnings - age 45-- to plan for that. We have already increased it to age 67 (gradually) - and I didn't hear too many complaints. We are living longer, and healthier. Brenda M. DeLalla, Edgewater

First, even though I am 50 years old and have paid into the system for many years, I advocate another slight increase in the retirement age for full benefits. This would cost me and many other baby boomers, but seems fair because of our increased life expectancy. Clint McSherry, Bel Air

At 76 years of age, I am still working full time. Therefore, I believe that the proposal to increase the retirement age to 70 by 2030 is entirely too timid! It should be increased to 76 right now!. People should have the guts to get into a field they enjoy. ... That's the Social Security solution. Get into work that you enjoy, and you will want to stick with it. Werner Kloetzli Jr., Ellicott City

Reduce the cost-of-living adjustment.

I have been retired for three years and on Social Security for three months. I have no cost-of-living adjustment made to my pension and already have a cost-ofliving adjustment to my Social Security. Unfortunately, the American people have got to understand that there are no free lunches and the government cannot provide for anything other than a minimal retirement amount. Norm Mulgrew, Bel Air

Raise payroll taxes, despite President Bush's opposition to it. Get the rich to pay more or have them get less.

Going without Social Security is unthinkable unless we want to see crowds of elderly beggars on our city streets; so the only alternative is to pay the higher cost. How do we do it? Simply by raising payroll taxes on those who can afford it. Marion J. Kaminkow, Randallstown

To privatize and invest or not?

Modify the president's idea of creating private accounts by letting individuals to put part of their contributions into their personal accounts. Keep the present Social Security tax as is but allow individuals to add to their tax by an amount of their choosing which would then be invested in the private accounts for them. Martin Mossa, Perry Hall

Social Security invests in Treasury notes/bonds. Why doesn't the government take a small portion (privatization plan) and invest in the equity markets? By doing this the fiduciary is still the government, not individuals. Richard Dix, Baltimore

We should realize that the Depression was exacerbated by the fact there were no social welfare programs in place. I do NOT subscribe to the current philosophy in Washington of an "ownership" society and that the individual will do a better job than some government program. Social Security has been successful and with some modest changes should continue to serve society in a positive fashion. Raymond Tallon Jr., Baltimore


Go back to Social Security's original design.

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