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To the Editor

To the Editor:

I always read the letters to the editor in your newsmagazine but didn’t know you were at a loss for filling your in-box. So, since you asked for more letters, here it is. Consider this the first in a series of common sense ideas to get the federal government on the right track. Let’s start with Social Security.

End it. That’s right, get rid of it as it exists today.

Starting now, let no new workers enroll in the current system. Instead provide an Roth IRA funded with what would have otherwise been deducted for traditional Social Security. The government would not be in charge of these dollars. Rather they would be invested by the individual worker as he or she sees fit. A number of default investments would be available for those who decide not to choose investments of their own. There would be a minimum contribution – say 8 percent of earnings – but no maximum contribution. Dollars would grow tax-free and would be withdrawn tax-free.

Current participants would work their way through the current plan and be completely out of the system in 40 to 50 years – unless they opt to move into the new plan. Eventually everyone would own their own account (retirement fund) without government involvement. If this program had been in place since the inception of Social Security everyone would be much better off than they are now, and we would not be talking about an empty Social Security Trust Fund – which has been looted by elected officials to pay for other things.

Providing for retirement is not the government’s job.

Steve Barrett

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