A Social Security Reform Plan That Can Pass

A lot of things are possible if Republicans and conservatives got serious about the information war. If they don’t, it doesn’t matter how good the policy proposal is. Here is Andrew G. Biggs at National Review:

In a recent article for National Review Online, I advocated Social Security reforms that combine a universal, guaranteed, flat retirement benefit provided by the government with expanded 401(k) retirement savings accounts to supplement that minimum benefit. These proposed reforms are similar to the retirement systems of New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and they also take cues from Canada and Australia.

Following the publication of that article, I received a wide range of feedback from readers — some asking for additional details on how the plan would work, others inquiring about various technical issues. But the most pressing questions have been about politics. Could such a plan pass? Or will fiscally conservative plans simply be beaten again, as they were when President George W. Bush invested heavily in reform in 2005?

No one designs a Social Security reform to be politically popular. Any proposal to bridge the $10 trillion-plus gap between the benefits Social Security promises and the taxes it will collect will inevitably deliver a lot of bad news to a lot of people. Anyone proposing a magic reform that guarantees full promised benefits without raising taxes is peddling snake oil.

But, compared with traditional reform plans, the flat-benefit plan offers a number of politically attractive features.

Read more: National Review

Image credit: conventionofstates.com.