Overhauling Social Security

Are radical changes needed to save the system?


Social Security faces tough times. When millions of baby boomers begin retiring in 2010, they will be entitled to more benefits than the program can afford. To cover the expected shortfall, younger workers face steep hikes in payroll taxes. But some experts and young activists are calling for fundamental changes in Social Security - even letting workers invest their payroll taxes in higher-yielding private retirement accounts to fatten their retirement nest eggs. Congress is unlikely to act soon. Senior citizens, who have been vocal opponents of tampering with Social Security, remain a more powerful voting block than the increasingly skeptical young members of Generation X. Nevertheless, with the specter of generational warfare looming, some champions of the program are expressing a new openness to change.

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