At his press conference this morning, President Obama said meeting the nation’s “fiscal challenge” is going to “require entitlement reform.” He then called for a “spirit of cooperation between Democrats and Republicans.”
One area where there is a lot of room for cooperation is in Social Security reform, where there is broad public support for a move toward partial-privatization. According to a Pew Research Center poll this fall, 58 percent of the public favors personal accounts. Majorities favor the idea across all age groups, except those 65 and older. Even more, Republicans (65%), Democrats (50%), and Independents (61%) all favor the idea.
Social Security has an outstanding liability of $16 trillion over the next 75 years, and incremental, marginal reforms through tax increases and benefit cuts will not allow long-term solvency. Individual accounts, however, will increase revenue, lower the national debt and restore Social Security to solvency. Most importantly, it will decrease Americans’ dependence on the federal government and take an important first step toward changing the relationship between citizen and state.