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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 27, 2005 / 18 Iyar, 5765

Retirement revolution

By Dick Morris


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The most recent poll by Scott Rasmussen shows how attracted Americans are to the idea of choice in Social Security reform — and offers a clue to the Bush administration on how to rescue its major legislative initiative.

Retirement is a tremendously personal decision, reflecting an individual's priorities, physical condition and goals in life — "one size" can't begin to "fit all." But, as grownups, we understand that we must pay more if we want to retire earlier and less if we want to postpone it.

So Rasmussen asked voters if they wanted "to determine their own retirement age. Those who want to retire earlier could pay extra taxes into the system and begin collecting benefits sooner. Those who would rather defer the time when they begin collecting benefits could pay less in taxes today." The results showed that 52 percent of Americans supported the idea; only 31 percent were opposed. Rasmussen noted that almost 60 percent of those now employed favored the idea.

Bush's proposed reform of Social Security is in mortal danger because of the opposition of those over the age of 50. But those over 65 (13 percent of the electorate) are opposed to any reform and well beyond the reach of any proposal, voters in the critical 50-64 age group back the idea of voluntarily selecting one's retirement age. By 49 percent to 33 percent, they support the idea even though they oppose Bush's overall Social Security plan by 55-30.

What would workers choose? Higher taxes and earlier retirement or lower taxes and later retirement? Would most voters just cop out and back lower taxes? Not at all: 52 percent said that they'd pay more into the system now and seek to retire earlier, just 30 percent said they'd like to pay less and retire later.

Nineteen percent are workaholics who said they would like to pay even less and defer their retirement to the age of 75.

The younger workers were, the more they want to pay more and retire earlier. Sixty percent of those under the age of 30 wanted this option.

So a voluntary choice of retirement age could be a very, very good way to impose, in effect, a voluntary tax increase. By giving people a benefit — earlier retirement — and asking them to pay for it, we can do a lot to fortify the tottering Social Security system. On the other hand, we can also voluntarily cut the benefits of those who would like a later retirement, offering in return a reduced tax burden.

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Obviously, the administration would have to set these tax/retirement exchanges in such a way as to add substantial funding to the system. People understand the need to pay more to support Social Security — or to accept cuts in benefits. But the plan voters endorsed in the Rasmussen poll leaves the matter up to the individual rather than empowering bureaucrats and lawmakers to make this highly personal decision.

Ultimately, this proposal is likely to draw less opposition from those now over 65. People in this group — who oppose doing anything to Social Security, even if it doesn't affect them — are really fearful that any changes would weaken their lifeline and leave them bereft. So they view with suspicion any idea that would permit younger workers to divert some of their taxes to private investment accounts.

But they'd probably come around to support a plan that resulted in a net increase of revenues to the system, as the poll shows self-determination of one's retirement age would bring about.

Bush's Social Security plan is going nowhere. His inability to come up with a way to restore the system's fiscal stability undermines public acceptance of his privatization proposal. By adopting the pro-choice approach to retirement, he can get the process rolling again.

(Rasmussen's survey was conducted on May 18-22 with a national sample of 2,500 adults. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus two percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.)

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JWR contributor Dick Morris is author, most recently, of "Because He Could". (ClickHERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) Comment by clicking here.



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