Alternatives

Summary

We provide a research tool for you to evaluate other plans, or simply other ideas. We welcome sources for new ideas. For example, we cannot find a current privatization plan. So we ask users to tell us about things that we are missing, or submit their own ideas.

Changing The COLA

This is a very popular idea in DC.  It lowers the inflation protection in the benefits formula.  Benefits will grow more slowly.  Understand that any reduced adjustment to the COLA will affect people more as they age.  That is an odd solution for a system that is suppose to provide insurance against old-age.  

Chain-CPI

Presidential Plans From The 2012 Election

Neither candidate has made a visible statement that Social Security is in trouble at the level that the Trustees have said.  Obama has describe the solution as tweaks.  Romney has offered ideas, but no details.  We will provide reviews as details emerge.  Until then, it is sufficient to say that neither politican has acknowledged the Trustee's concern about the system. 

Innovative Plans 

Almost all plans coming out of DC have a common theme.  These plans do not fix Social Security.  These plans are a way to pay for Social Security.   None of those ideas work well.  Here are three plans which actually change the way Social Security works.  We may not agree with the plan in principle or in numbers, but they contain actual reforms to the system.

Debt Swap (Alex Pollock, AEI)
The Purple Plan(Laurence Kotlikoff)
Well-tailored Safety Net (Jed Graham)

Plans Which Increase Taxes or Decrease benefits

Generally, we give poor reviews to any plan which increases taxes or lowers benefits. These ideas do not fix Social Security. They are a way to pay for it. When business is in trouble, it innovates, creating new products and making existing ones better. When Washington is in trouble, it just raises the price and shrinks the box. We think that is visionless.

Heritage Foundation
Senator Hutchison's Plan
Simpson-Bowles 
Raise The Cap 
Senator Harkin's (USA Retirement Accounts) 

Personal Account Plans

Plans which create a person account have generally two problems.  First, they have to pay for legacy benefits to existing retirees.  We pan any idea which 'pays' for legacy benefits by reducing government waste.  Waste should be reduced anyway with the savings going to deficit reduction.  The other problem is guarantees.  If someone wants to play the market, they need to absorb the risk, not the taxpayer.

Cato Privatization   <- The best version of PSAs
Newt's Plan
Paul Ryan
McCotter

Other Plans

Opt-Out (Ron Paul)
Fair Tax (Herman Cain)