The American people love Social Security, and with good reason. It protects seniors and the disabled from poverty, and it is the most important life and disability safeguard available to the nation’s 75 million children. The program is a bargain: Its administrative costs are lower than privately managed retirement plans. Social Security returns in benefits more than 99 cents of every dollar collected, whereas a typical 401(k) could easily eat up 20 cents of that dollar in fees. The program is fiscally sound and prudently managed — a policy triumph.
There are basically two categories of people who want to see Social Security cut: 1) financiers who wish to move us toward privatized retirement accounts so that they can charge us fees; and 2) rich people who do not like to pay taxes. Their main champions are conservatives at the Heritage Foundation, libertarians at the Cato Institute and Wall Street financier Pete Peterson.