NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


January 7, 2005

The AARP (formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons) and President Bush are about to duke it out in a slugfest over a Social Security overhaul. The AARP began an ad blitz this week to try to preempt a partial-privatization plan Bush will make public next month.

On the Social Security issue, Bush is right and the AARP is wrong, says USA Today founder Al Neuharth. Here's why:

  • The Bush plan would not affect current retirees and probably not be available to those still working who are 50 or older.
  • It would be strictly voluntary and simply permit younger workers to invest some (maybe up to $1,000 a year) of their Social Security payroll taxes into private retirement accounts.
  • The math is not simple, but the results are staggering: $1,000 invested annually in the stock market, with its historical 10 percent-a-year-average return compounded, would grow to more than $440,000 in 40 years.
  • A $1,000 investment every year for 50 years would balloon to more than $1.15 million.

A Bush-like privatization plan is the only sure and safe way for young workers (future AARP members) to avoid being at the mercy of future governments, says Neuharth.

Source: Al Neuharth, "Use, abuse of power: Bush and the AARP," USA Today, January 7, 2004.


Browse more articles on Tax and Spending Issues