Social Security: Benefits Outweigh Its Problems

Social Security: Benefits Outweigh Its Problems

None of the points raised in the opinion-page article ''Privatize Social Security,'' July 13, mentions unmitigated benefits to workers who switch to proposed personal investment plans.

First, since consumption by retirees comes from the production of contemporary workers rather than from the production of the retirees during their working years, savings by workers will not necessarily ensure an adequate income when they retire. Second, if billions of dollars are redirected away from the federal government into private hands, the federal government will simply borrow those billions elsewhere, resulting in no decrease in interest rates or increase in economic growth. Third, under a privatized system retirement accumulations would be reduced by premiums for death and disability insurance provided automatically under Social Security.

Although improvement is certainly possible, on balance the Social Security system is an efficient mechanism for transferring income from the working population to those deemed unable to support themselves adequately because of age, disability, or the death of a spouse or parent.

Eric J. Klieber Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Limit presidents to one term

Regarding the article ''Bosnia Threatens to Spill Into Presidential Politics,'' and the editorial ''A New Tack on Bosnia,'' July 19: In the latter, the writer observes the obvious - that both Prime Minister John Major and President Clinton are circumscribed in their approach to the Bosnian problem by their approaching election campaigns. One could cite dozens of similar examples of presidential good being sacrificed before the altar of reelection in both Democratic and Republican administrations.

When will we wake up to the obvious solution - a constitutional amendment limiting the United States president to a single term in office?

Even Mr. Clinton might show some statesmanship and fortitude if he had no motive to focus so intensely on public opinion polls and reelection.

Allen F. Chew Colorado Springs, Colo.

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