Social Security: Collected Links

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Social Security: Collected Links

The Colorado Freedom Report has published a number of articles about Social Security. The purpose of this page is to collect the links to those articles and provide brief summaries. This page was created in December, 2004, though subsequent links will also be added. The articles are linked in reverse chronological order.

Ideas on Social Security and Tax Reform
by Craig Latzke, March 25, 2005 (with a reply by Ari Armstrong)
Craig Latzke discusses the dynamics of reforming Social Security and the income tax. Ari Armstrong replies.

Bush Favors Forced Savings with National Controls
by Ari Armstrong, February 3, 2005
In his State of the Union address, Bush proposed a forced savings program severely controlled by the national government.

Denver Dailies Offer False Choices for Social Security
by Ari Armstrong, January 25, 2005
Though the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post seem to take opposing views on Social Security reform, neither paper dares to endorse a solution compatible with free markets. Both papers share the assumption that the national government should control 12.4% of workers' income; the only debate is over how the government should control that money.

Social Security's Distrust Fund
by Ralph Shnelvar, January 25, 2005 (posted)
Ralph Shnelvar destroys the myth that the so-called "trust fund" somehow helps the solvency of Social Security.

Letters on Social Security
by Ari Armstrong, January 19, 2005
Ari Armstrong replies to articles about Social Security by Alex Epstein, Thomas Sowell, George Will, and Larry Elder.

Do Bush's Accounts Move Toward Liberty?
by Eyal Mozes and Ari Armstrong, January 12, 2005
Mozes argues that mandatory, regulated accounts, while not the best solution, would nevertheless be a step in the right direction and prove more amenable to positive changes in the future. Armstrong replies that mandatory accounts carry serious harms and future risks and thus should be rejected in favor of a phase-out plan.

How to Salvage Bush's Plan for Social Security
by Ari Armstrong, January 7, 2005
The flaw with Bush's plan for Social Security is that there's no need to force income into mandatory, regulated accounts. People could be allowed to keep that money to spend or invest as they see fit. Bush's plan could be salvaged if people were allowed to decline the accounts and keep more of their money, without any restrictions or conditions.

How Republicans Rationalize Tax Hikes
by Ari Armstrong, December 30, 2004
The argument that the "transition costs" associated with establishing mandatory, regulated accounts actually save money in the long run is based on a fallacious assumption.

Social Security: Reply to Critics
by Ari Armstrong, December 29, 2004
Arguments about fairness, the so-called "trust fund," savings among American workers, mandatory accounts, and the poor.

Private accounts no help to Social Security
by Ari Armstrong, December 29, 2004
Reproduction of a letter to the editor of the Rocky Mountain News.

Bush's Accounts Offer No Solution
by Ari Armstrong, December 26, 2004
From the December 26 Denver Post: "The Democrats merely want to tweak the system that imposes a high burden on America's working poor and middle class. President George Bush's plan to replace part of Social Security with accounts mandated and regulated by the federal government is unnecessary for reform and contrary to free markets."

Conservative Lies about Social Security
by Ari Armstrong, December 22, 2004
Many conservatives promote four distortions about Social Security and mandatory, regulated accounts. They incorrectly claim the accounts are "voluntary," that they are controlled by workers, that they are private and consistent with free markets, and that they are integral to the reform of Social Security.

The Objectivist Response to Social Security
by Ari Armstrong, December 20, 2004
Ayn Rand's political philosophy is incompatible with the mandatory, regulated accounts promoted by President Bush. Yet the Ayn Rand Institute has published several releases and articles that seem to lend support to Bush's plan. Ayn Rand allowed for incremental reforms, but only under certain conditions, which mandatory, regulated accounts fail to meet.

Real Market Reformers Stand Against Bush
by Ari Armstrong, December 15, 2004
Several free-market economists oppose the plan to replace part of Social Security with mandatory, regulated accounts. Jeffrey Miron explicitly opposes Bush's plan, and Hans Sennholz, George Reisman, and others offer analysis that precludes Bush's plan. David Brooks of the New York Times pretends that Bush's plan is compatible with free markets, but it isn't.

Farrell Favors Experiments in Statism
by Ari Armstrong, December 13, 2004
John Aloysius Farrell of The Denver Post wants to "experiment" with Social Security reforms -- yet his comments preclude the "experiment" of economic liberty. Thus, Farrell is stuck in short-sighted pragmatism.

Kemp Fumbles Social Security Reform
by Ari Armstrong, December 8, 2004
Jack Kemp pretends that mandatory, regulated accounts can solve the problems with Social Security. They can't. Kemp ignores the real reforms that would actually reduce the burden of Social Security.

Krugman Ignores Failures of Social Security
by Ari Armstrong
Paul Krugman of The New York Times understates the problems with Social Security. While he correctly argues against Bush's proposal, he fails to offer a sensible proposal that would reduce the horrible burden Social Security imposes on America's working poor and middle class.

Phase Out Social Security
by Ari Armstrong, December 2, 2004
Social Security can be gradually phased out by continually raising the age at which benefits are paid or by incrementally reducing benefits. Bush's plan is dangerous, contrary to free markets, and unnecessary to real reform.

What's Wrong with Social Security and How to Abolish It
by Ari Armstrong, December 2, 2004
This lengthy treatment answers the basic questions about Social Security and the various proposals for reforming it.

Social Security: An Evolution in Analysis
by Ari Armstrong, December 2, 2004
Over the years, the author came to view the phase-out plan as the best way to reform and eventually eliminate Social Security. The Cato Institute, on the other hand, has promoted mandatory, regulated accounts, which undermine free markets and do nothing to reduce the burden of Social Security.

Opt Out of Social Security
by Ari Armstrong, December 2, 2004
Congressman Mark Udall wants to tweak Social Security without reducing the program's enormous burden on America's working poor and middle class. An opt-out alternative is considered, even though the author elsewhere concluded a phase-out plan is better.

Letters to the Editor
by Ari Armstrong, November 3, 2004
"Bush's proposal for Social Security would send funds to politically controlled accounts, something that does not increase liberty at all, but instead diminishes liberty."

A Liberty Makeover for Bush
by Ari Armstrong, October 15, 2004
An opt-out reform of Social Security should not include mandatory, regulated accounts.

Freedom Updates: Social Security Folly
by Ari Armstrong, October 4, 2002
By endorsing mandatory, regulated accounts, The Cato Institute precluded from consideration something like an opt-out plan free from mandatory accounts.

Freedom Updates: LP Flubs Social Security Discussion
by Ari Armstrong, September 13, 2002
The Libertarian Party calls for replacing Social Security with mandatory accounts, even though an opt-out plan could be adopted that does not impose mandatory accounts but instead leaves workers free to do with their income what they see fit.

Freedom Updates: Rosen and Capitalism
by Ari Armstrong, July 19, 2002
During the stock market troubles of 2002, the Cato Institute seemed to push for mandatory, regulated accounts less vigorously. (Cato soon began to endorse anti-market, mandatory accounts again.)

Freedom Updates: What Social Security Means to Me
by Ari Armstrong, June 12, 2002
"What Social Security means to me is that my ability to rationally plan for my own future is limited, because politicians and bureaucrats are trying to plan it for me, and failing miserably... I don't want mandated, regulated accounts. I want the freedom and responsibility to spend or invest my money how I want, when I want... I favor limited, voluntary charity programs to help those truly in need. But Socialized Insecurity must be abolished and wiped from the face of the earth."

Bush Leads: Be Very Afraid
by Ari Armstrong, November 27, 2000
The piece contains but a brief but succinct critique of Bush's plan for Social Security: "Bush also wants to hand control over part of the stock market to the federal government. Let's get something straight: we aren't 'privatizing' Social Security if we're replacing it with mandatory savings accounts, regulated by the federal government, as Bush has called for."

Incrementalism and Freedom
by Ari Armstrong, July 14, 2000
Harry Browne wanted to sell government assets to pay off some of the promised benefits of Social Security, while Jacob "Bumper" Hornberger wanted to end the program immediately. Both their plans were superior to Cato's "market socialism" of mandatory, regulated accounts.

Harry Browne: 'We Believe in You'
by Harry Browne, July 2, 2000
Browne correctly argues that mandatory, regulated accounts allows investment, "but only as long as you do it within the government's guidelines..."

Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell Clear as Mud on Social Security Reform
by Ari Armstrong, May 1999
Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell favors "a plan which maintains the mission of the Social Security System," yet his description of the program is completely confused. The only thing Campbell makes clear is that in no case does he favor economic liberty to the current system.

State Senator John Andrews: Guardian of Liberty
by Ari Armstrong, April 1999
Contained within this lengthy treatment of the views of John Andrews is an explanation of why mandatory, regulated accounts need not and ought not replace any part of Social Security.

Origins of the Socialist Insecurity Tax
by Ari Armstrong, April 1999
Social Security never made sense, and now the best way to eliminate it is to "raise the age at which benefits are paid by three (or four) months every year, indefinitely into the future, until the system is phased out." Mandatory, regulated accounts do nothing to reduce the burden of Social Security.

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