Blacks and Social Security

Commentary by Pete du Pont

Host intro: The Social Security system is going broke. But Pete du Pont of the National Center for Policy Analysis says that's not the only problem. Du Pont says in the Social Security gamble, there are big winners and big losers.

The Social Security winners are white females. The losers are black men.

Only about a third of black men make it to their 75th birthday. Twice as many white females do. So young black males pay the Social Security tab for white females. And since white women tend to have higher incomes and greater assets than black men, those who have the most get the most.

And it's getting worse: while whites live longer, black life expectancy hasn't increased in 15 years.

But the other scandal concerns the amount black men or their widows will receive.

Someone who worked at twice the minimum wage from 1955 to 1995 would be left with $630 a month in Social Security. But if the same amount he was forced to pay into Social Security had been put into a private account - which had grown by a modest five percent - the total would have been $90,000.

Several studies have shown than many median-income workers starting today under a privatized system could retire millionaires.

Workers should be allowed to save for themselves, not subsidize others who don't need it. A privatized system is the only one that's genuinely fair.

Well, those are my ideas. And at the NCPA, we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont, and I'll see you tomorrow.

Host outro: Tomorrow Pete du Pont gets a mirthless laugh out of silly sexual harassment suits.