Many see the promise of Social Security becoming less reliable. The smarter ones have decided to take matters into their own hands and plan to do something about it, (see “Depending on Your Age, This Will Protect You from a Social Security FAIL,” FiduciaryNews.com, June 14, 2018).
Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s great that people seek to take matters into their own hands. Self-reliance is a very American response. It usually works for the best. I applaud it.
That doesn’t mean a little official encouragement from the government won’t help. Of course, debates over the best way to offer that encouragement seem to have led to nothing besides more debates. Same old, same old. Yet, the powers that be act as if it’s sacrilege to do anything else.
Funny. They said the identical thing about dealing with North Korea. President after president played the usual game of “tactful” diplomacy. What did it produce? Nothing but more tension.
I’ll leave it to others to explain how Trump achieved what his predecessors could not, but I will say this: Maybe the “usual game” should be junked when it comes to other issues.
Social Security may be one of those issues. It’s become a money pit. You might recall the 1986 movie “Money Pit” starring Tom Hanks and Shelley Long. The two keep pouring money into a mansion. The good news is they solve their problem by the end of the movie. The bad news is there’s a new money pit. It never ends.
Perhaps that’s an appropriate metaphor. If anyone might know how to deal with the Social Security money pit, a real estate expert may be the right person in the right place at the right time. Can Trump make ‘social security’ great again?
As a candidate, President Trump promised to protect Social Security benefits. The Trustees Report just issued says that may be impossible – not just for Trump but for any President. The truth is, “fixing” Social Security requires legislative action. This appears unlikely. It also may merely mimic the usual money pit game.
What if Trump decides not to play the usual game? The Executive Branch may not have the authority to change laws, but it does own the world’s biggest megaphone. Where Teddy Roosevelt had the bully pulpit, Trump has Twitter. Every time Trump tweets, journalists the world over play the role of echo chamber.
Again, I’ll leave it to others to explain how Trump wields such power. I’m left wondering, however, what would happen if one morning we see a flurry of Trump tweets proclaiming retirement readiness advice.
Imagine a series of tweets like this:
OK, I’ll be the first to admit I’m not as adept at tweeting as Trump, but you get the idea.
Oh, and one more thing. Notice the phrase “social security” isn’t capitalized. That’s because the best way to ensure retirement security for Americans requires us to not play the usual game with a government-based program called “Social Security.”
I mean, how many other industries continue to thrive using 1930s technology?