Fresh for Tax-Filing Day...


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...an important new angle on the Social Security Debate.

Over at The Christian Science Monitor Daniel Schorr makes an important point about the nature of Social Security recipients and private accounts. He claims that over 3 million children under 18 receive benefits because of disabled or deceased parents and more than another 2 million live in households in which the parents rely on Social Security to stay above water.
Schorr's point is that a child whose parent has died would find little help in a private account. It's an important consideration that also illuminates the bigger (and often mis-represented) role of Social Security. It is essentially an insurance plan, not a pension plan. For many of its recipients, it ensures against an impoverished retirement. For many others, however, it helps guard against the economic hardship that can come with disability and its impact on one's ability to earn a living and support a family.

Social Security is our promise to retirees, but also those who, due to unforeseen tragedy, could use a hand. For kids who have lost a parent, the program offers a measure of economic security that can help them make it through until they are old enough to earn a living themselves.

This is a crucial part of Social Security that should not be overlooked in the debate. If America is to be a land of opportunity, this is surely one type of insurance that we should not forego.
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