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Here's How to Make Social Security the Retirement Program America Needs


This idea has gotten some play in Washington circles. On the right, American Enterprise Institute's Andrew Biggs has proposed replacing Social Security with a basic income set at the poverty line, plus an automatic savings program. On the left, Michael Lind, Steven Hill, Robert Hiltonsmith, and Joshua Freedman released a plan through New America that would add on a basic income set at about the poverty line (the specific number is $11,669) to existing Social Security. The latter proposal has a shortcoming in that only retirees with earnings get the benefit, but it's simple enough to expand.