Traversing the Third Rail
This thesis ultimately hopes to convey a new plan for assuring Social Security solvency. The criteria for the plan proposed will require no modification in the payroll tax rates, no decrease in benefits, and no increase in the retirement age, while permitting the federal government to maintain control over the Social Security system. No expert or source has yet to advance a proposal that matches these criteria. The plan advanced in this' thesis will seek to bridge the political divide between competing interests of taxation and privatization, providing an alternative to previous Social Security reform proposals avoiding the features of political divisiveness while ensuring economic validity. This thesis advances a novel approach to ensuring permanent sustainable solvency for the Social Security trust fund. By allowing individuals to bequest their Social Security benefits to their heirs, tax-free, this thesis enumerates the economic and mathematical consequences which demonstrate the possible savings to the Social Security trust fund were it to be ratified. Providing limited property rights to individuals to transfer their benefits could mitigate the Social Security funding crisis by increasing the amount of fund kept in the Trust Fund, thus leveling the obligations resulting from the demographic spikes of the next half century. This thesis will redefine the frame of the Social Security debate and inspire a new plan for discussion. Overall, it shows that reforms to the Social Security trust fund can be made without producing a political wrath. This is accomplished by unconventional thinking and an individual willingness to break the bonds of ideological insistence for the more common, higher purpose of ensuring retirement security for generations of Americans to come.