Atrios (aka ‘Duncan Black’) takes a well-earned victory lap in getting the idea of expanding Social Security payments in the mainstream political discussion–recently, all but two Senate Democrats voted to expand Social Security benefits. But what burns me up is all the money I (and my employer) put into 401(k)s, which, if I had put into Social Security–that is, treat it as if my payments in had been larger, would have essentially doubled my Social Security payments, even under the current system. In other words, if there had been a ‘private’ supplemental Social Security option–you can pay in more and get Social Security-level returns–I would have a very nice guaranteed pension.
Instead, I’m stuck with a 401(k) hooked up with shitty ‘brokerage’ fees that suck away a significant chunk of my savings, and, which if my retirement is timed poorly, could be worth much less than I planned (just ask someone who retired–or planned to–in 2008-9).
And, as an aside, various entities are predicting Social Security will be ‘insolvent’–that is, pay out more than the assets held by the Fund and payroll taxes–in twenty to thirty years. These same entities have been predicting this for over thirty years, and the Social Security Fund currently has assets–a surplus–of over $2 trillion.
We have a Social Security crisis, just not the one the Very Serious People say we do.