Social Security is called the third rail of politics because when a program sends checks to millions, a congressman who talks about changing it puts himself at risk of being politically electrocuted. If you want a career in Washington, who needs risk?
Thankfully, some view Congress differently. They aren’t trying to cash in on a career. Forty-five Representatives have limited themselves to three House terms. These are the kind of legislators America’s founders hoped would go to Congress folks not afraid to tackle the tough issues.
Mark Sanford of South Carolina is one of these term-limited members and he’s willing to act to save Social Security. He’s introduced legislation to allow you to take back your Social Security account from the politicians. His bill would allow you to invest a portion to grow a real retirement benefit.
Political opponents raise concerns about the risk of allowing you to invest your own money. Yet, the bigger concern is what Mark Sanford calls the “political risk” of leaving your money in the hands of the politicians in Congress.
What is the political risk? Politicians chasing votes have spent every dollar you’ve paid to Social Security. The money’s gone. There is no “trust fund” because Congress couldn’t be trusted. If a private pension fund was run this way, the people would be arrested. Managing your Social Security, Congress spent all the money and the program is headed for bankruptcy.
But why should Congress care? They’ve opted out of Social Security and their congressional pension makes them millionaires. It’s only term-limited members like Mark Sanford who are willing to touch the third rail so that you won’t get railroaded.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.