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Two views of Social Security
22 February 2005 - Orange County Register

John Craine’s Monday letter was meant as a defense against means testing, which he rightfully derides as bald-faced welfare. The stance he takes, though, makes a much bigger point regarding the value of personal choice – between paying and collecting or opting out completely.

Mr. Craine insists that since he has paid all that money into the system, he will surely demand the payments to which he is entitled. Holding that view is perfectly fine, and I’m certain he shares it with a great many people.

However, another significant portion of the population would gladly and anxiously remove their claim on benefits from the future liabilities column of the Social Security balance sheet. We don’t even care about the vast sums we’ve already paid into the system – we’re willing to give all that up as a sunk cost if we’re allowed to practice a little personal responsibility and opt out from both the paying and the collecting.

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