If George W. Bush’s/John McCain’s views on Social Security of a couple of years ago had been national policy, your retirement could have shared in this meltdown. What’s in your 401K/IRAs?
McCain’s Social Security positions are historically quite labile, and currently incomprehensible. He recognizes that demographically the working/retired population ratio is shrinking, asserts that the taxes needed to maintain a pay-as-you-go system as this progresses would cripple the economy, won’t mess with currently expected SS benefits, and then says private accounts can save it.
Either retirees can consume a given share of the economy’s production without creating any of it and without damaging the economy “too much”,or they can’t. Even if we could arrange it safely, transferring those resources to the elderly through private accounts is not importantly different from using the government to do so: the constraint is in the ratio of the total value created by workers to the value we think retirees should be entitled to consume (and hence deny to workers).