Speaking about the current bailout planned, has anyone seen a way to kill two birds with one stone here? Like it or not, the government just bought in big to the private sector. But instead of "Private losses, private gains", we will now have "Private Losses, Public Gains" - if we do the right thing here. If the public taxpayer gets in on the ground floor of this stock purchase and then puts it all back into the social security fund, we should fare quite nicely in the future, with the reformed fund never going bankrupt again.
Of course, the current social security system would have to be reformed to take advantage of this - and also to fix that fact that the current system has an inherent flaw. It needs to be redesigned to be self-sufficient and fail proof. Kind of like how the government said that the banks it purchased bad debt from are "too big to fail" - well, that's how the social security system needs to be.
Now, I'd rather just do away with the whole system. I can invest in my own retirement just fine on my own. I don't need to pay Washington bureaucrats to do it for me (and take 50% of the top in the process).
But, that's not likely to happen, I know. So, instead of crying over spilled milk, I'll send out this plausible solution over the airwaves and hope against all hopes that someone, somewhere, who can make a difference will read this and actually DO something about it.
So, here's how to really solve the problem and make it not come back:
1. Stop the bleeding - make it so you can't steal from the social security money for something else. Turn it into a mandatory 401k type system. If you're going to take money from my check, put it into my account, and let me have some control over how its invested. Just make it so my money doesn't go to pay for some politician's pet project. I don't care if you want to redistribute the wealth generated by my retirement plan (the new S.S.) - just don't take too much of my money.
2. Use the newly created Financial Stability Oversight Board and congressional oversight panel to transfer the bailout assets to the Social security fund. This money will be used to populate the accounts of people close to retirement. Those who are further away will have plenty of time to make up the difference.
3. For those 14 and younger, don't add them to the S.S. system. These people will be mandated by the states to start private retirement funds - just like I was mandated to pay into the S.S. system when I was that age. It'll kind of be like requiring auto insurance. Except, it'll be better tracked - using computers! In about 50 years when the Social security system is starting to come to a close, we'll have millions of rich american's will pretty, private, full retirement accounts!
4. Pass a law that says there will never, ever be any more bailouts. Pass legislation that encourages total disclosures so this can never again happen on a large scale like this. Companies need to know, if they screw up, they'll be the ones taking the hit. So implement tougher penalties for that crap. At the same time, we can't have a trillion dollar mass dumbass loss in our economy, but we can weather smaller losses more spreadout throughout the economy. Which is what we'll have once we put up a stupidity filter - it'll only let bad ideas through slowly, and those that get through will die on their own.
Let me know if you think this will work!