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<In defense of Vice President Gores' expanded statement that Bush's plan is "stock market rolette" and ..... akin to "rolling the dice". I must agree with him. First, I think that some form of investment for retirement is a necessity, but when you look at the millions of people who for different reasons, and there are many, would never invest on their own, someone must invest for them. For them scraping social security is not viable.>

There are only three possible solutions to solving the SS problem. Any one of the three can work or the better choice will be a combination of the three.

1. GREATLY raise the payroll taxes currently deducted each pay period.

2. GREATLY Reduce the benefits to be paid out to future retirees by 1/3 to 1/2.

3. Provide the means for a realistic average annual return of 10% on all funds collected that are over and above paid out benefits each year. Do not allow ANY of these funds to be used to "balance the budget" or looted for any other "pork" projects.

4. Do nothing and wait for all hell to break loose after those in power have left and retired with their non SS, market invested retirement funds.

I only put #4 in because that is what Mr. Gore is suggesting, even though it will not solve a thing. BTW, I am neither a democrat or a republican, but a die hard INDEPENDENT.

Obviously, there would be a lot of details in setting up #3. While there are down years, when you consider a 40 year time frame of paying in for the average working person, risk is greatly reduced. You could make the investment portion an "opt in" choice. You could even guarantee a payout to a workers heirs if they die before collecting, unlike the Ponzi scheme we now have. The politicians are terrified of #1 and #2, so they avoid mentioning them. Then someone like Mr. Bore calls #3 roulette. Promising not to spend future "possible" surpluses is not a real solution.

In our personal lives, when we are faced with a shortage of funds, we usually have two main choices: increase income or decrease spending. When the shortfall is likely to be somewhere down the road, FOOLS add #3 to their choices. It is something our government can learn from us.

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