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Not to be too antagonistic sounding, but I do not think we can operate a socially compassionate country if everyone is responsible solely for his own retirement, or is allowed to drop out of the system.

For one thing, there are a whole lot of people who never were able to save enough by themselves, and who never got vested in a pension, and really do rely on Social Security benefits that their taxes did not earn them actuarially. Go over to early messages on the Retired Fools board to hear of some examples.

Second, people do pay taxes for which they will get no benefits. I am childless but I pay school taxes every year.

Third, is it such a good idea to let people invest on their own completely? I can't be sure I wouldn't have invested big in Osborne Computer, Eastern Airlines, Bre-X and Boston Chicken. If I had, I'd still not like to end my days starving in the street.

The Concord Coalition has some interesting position papers on many budget topics. They're

Let's continue this discussion. I have to tell you I come from a country that had to be started because its founders liked their previous government.
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