Social Security chief hopeful on solvency

Monday, March 2, 2009 | 10:39 a.m. CST

ST. LOUIS — Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue is hopeful the Obama administration will address the solvency of the Social Security system before the 2012 elections.

Astrue spoke Monday to business leaders at Washington University in St. Louis.

Astrue said the new administration is dealing with the economy and other issues first. But, he said, the desire to fix Social Security "is very high." He declined to speculate on exactly what the administration will do to address the problem.

Astrue said he believes Social Security is not in as dire a situation as some in the public believe. Without changes, the system would become insolvent by around 2041. Astrue said the administration should try to secure the system through about 2065.

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Ayn Rand March 2, 2009 | 1:08 p.m.

Just a reminder for those who believe that SS is safer than private accounts. It's not. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled multiple times that Congress can end SS payments to anyone or everyone, regardless of how long or how much you've paid in.

The SS debacle is one reason why some members of Congress want to eliminate 401(k)s and fold them into government-run accounts. Presto! More forced funding for SS and for whatever programs the government wants to pay for with IOUs.

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