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Dear Mr. President; Members of Congress

Friday, February 04, 2005

As a loyal American Citizen, I tuned in to listen to the State of the Union speech. I was curious as to the direction you and your party were intending to steer our country in the coming four years. We handed you the proverbial "Keys to the City," so I figured it would be in my best interest to see what my fate was going to be.

I was not disappointed. The first ten minutes of your speech was centered around the hot topic of Social Security. More to the point, you stood before Congress and explained to me and the rest of the American Citizens that the Ponzai Scheme we affectionately call our Social Security Benefits are fast approaching "bust!" In your speech you said, "Thirteen years from now, in 2018, Social Security will be paying out more than it takes in. And every year afterward will bring a new shortfall, bigger than the year before. For example, in the year 2027, the government will somehow have to come up with an extra $200 billion to keep the system afloat -- and by 2033, the annual shortfall would be more than $300 billion. By the year 2042, the entire system would be exhausted and bankrupt." Then, you proceeded to try and sell me on your replacement program. The great savior for my government-backed, government-endorsed retirement plan is your new "Personal Investment Accounts" program.

Well, I pondered both options that my government has provided me with. On the one hand, we have the soon-to-be-defunct Social Security program. On the other, we have the new Personal Investment Accounts program. You show us Chile and the success that country has had with their pension reforms. I have to wonder why we are not also looking at pension reform in Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela and Peru. How did these countries fair after the World Bank meddled with their pensions?

I ask you, Mr. President; Members of Congress, what happened to my third option? You know... "3) None of the above." Why would anyone in their right mind keep investing in a program that has been referred to many times as "bankrupt"? Why would I want to keep handing over my hard-earned money to the government so they can throw it down the bottomless pit that Social Security has turned into? By the time I retire there won't be anything left (in Social Security) of the 45+ years of my investing. Why would I, having been witness to the demonstrably negligent investment sense of my government, hand over to them even more of my money so they can gamble it on the stock market? What happens if the market crashes? Then what do I do? I'd have nothing left and only you to blame!

Here's the facts. I'm about to turn 33. I was born in 1972 and am expecting to retire at the age of 67. At that time, the year will be 2039. That's just three years ahead of the "projected" collapse of Social Security. You, the government, have demonstrated to me how irresponsible you are with other people's money. I don't feel I can continue to risk my retirement in your hands any longer. Respectfully, you can keep your various retirement schemes. I think that I'll go find myself a successful investment advisor and take care of my retirement on my own... I'll take Option 3.


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