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Social security and its discontents

Perspectives on choice

Social security and its discontents
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Social Security is the largest government program in the world. But it is also a deeply troubled one, on the verge of financial collapse. Within 15 years, Social Security will begin running a deficit. Overall, the program is more than $26 trillion in debt. Without fundamental reform it will not be able to pay the benefits it has promised to our children and grandchildren. That has prompted the most far -- reaching discussion of the purpose and structure of Social Security since the program was enacted in 1935. Not so very long ago, Social Security was rightly regarded as the "third rail" of American politics -- touch it and your career dies. But no longer. Polls today show that the vast majority of Americans support proposals that would allow younger workers to privately invest at least part of their Social Security taxes through individual accounts. For more than 25 years, the Cato Institute has led the debate for Social Security reform, arguing that the program is fundamentally flawed and calling for greater freedom and choice for working Americans. Social Security and Its Discontents represents the best of Cato's publications on the issue. It includes essays by the nation's top economists and experts discussing Social Security's finances; the urgent need for reform; how the program treats women, minorities, and low-income workers; and the options for reform. With Social Security promising to be a hot-button issue for the 2004 election and in the years ahead, this book is essential reading for anyone who cares about what kind of country we will leave to our children and grandchildren.
Cato Institute; January 2004
404 pages; ISBN 9781933995748
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