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Democracy & Technology Blog Rube Pozen’s Herky Jerky PIN Machine

What a complicated mess! See the new and improved version of Robert Pozen’s Social Security scheme.
Although a Democrat, Pozen provided the blueprint for President Bush’s failed Social Security push in 2005. Now Pozen is back with new gears, widgets, and valves designed to make sure balance and “solvency” are achieved over the next 75 years. Added to the benefit-cutting mechanism of “Progressive Price Indexing” are now “Longevity Indexing” and a 2% Surtax not just on the upper class but the middle class too.
He throws out one attractive idea to Republicans — eliminating the income cap on Roth IRAs so individuals could invest any amount of after-tax income with no future tax hit. But does anyone think such a “giveaway to the rich” is possible under the new Congress? Anyway, the ultimate Roth IRA is just the elimination of the capital gains tax, which is where we should really be headed.
The proliferation of government sanctioned savings accounts is out of control — IRAs, Roth IRAs, 401(k)s, Keoughs, 529s, state college funds….Stop already! Who has time to manage all these accounts, with all their different rules and regulations? Just eliminate taxes on capital and let us pool our investments tax-free for all our long term needs — from retirement to education to entrepreneurial business activity.
America is a wealthy country and getting wealthier all the time. U.S. household assets now total some $67 tillion yielding a net worth of $54 trillion. A much better approach was suggested by George Gilder last week: avoid any “solutions” to Social Security that rely on tax increases that choke off today’s opportunities in an overly precise and futile effort to balance the accounting ledgers in the year 2082 or whatever. Instead, pursue the opportunities of global growth. Only this strategy will produce the new incomes, asset gains, and additional borrowing power necessary to allow us to pay for our own retirements and health care.
-Bret Swanson

Bret Swanson

Bret Swanson is a Senior Fellow at Seattle's Discovery Institute, where he researches technology and economics and contributes to the Disco-Tech blog. He is currently writing a book on the abundance of the world economy, focusing on the Chinese boom and developing a new concept linking economics and information theory. Swanson writes frequently for the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal on topics ranging from broadband communications to monetary policy.