January 21, 2005
A huge battle is brewing in Washington over the future of social security.
All of the computer models say the system, founded more than 65 years ago, is in need of retirement.
But democrats are reluctant to let go of it because it gives them power with senior voters.
Never mind that it will not serve the next generation as well as it has the past generations.
This is all about politics and votes.
Still, a majority now rightly believe that something new must be done and that social security won't be there for them when they retire unless it changes.
People first must take more responsibility for themselves, saving and investing as young workers and allowing compund interest to work for them.
No one can live on social security alone and we need to do a better job of teaching everyone about economics and personal responsibility for one's own life.
Private accounts are the way to go with safeguards built in that will protect investors from radical shifts in the market and from themselves so they can't withdraw the money except in an extreme emergency.
It's going to get nasty, but changing social security is no longer an option.
It's a must.
I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C. Watch his television show, After Hours with Cal Thomas, on the Fox News Channel, Saturdays at 11 p.m. Eastern Time.