MIDLAND—In a study released in December, "Saving Retirement in Michigan: Responsible Alternatives to Social Security," the Mackinac Center for Public Policy is urging the Michigan legislature to weigh into the national discussion of Social Security reform. The study argues that Michigan should follow the lead of legislatures in Oregon and Colorado and pass a resolution that urges Congress to either

  • Partially privatize the existing Social Security program by allowing workers to shift all or part of their current Social Security payroll taxes into privately-owned and managed accounts; or

  • Grant the state of Michigan a waiver to opt out of the federal program and design a sounder, more beneficial, privatized retirement plan for its citizens.

According to the report, many countries have already improved the retirement security of millions of their citizens by turning to private investment to restore fiscal soundness and better benefits. "With a strong economy and government surpluses forecast for the next decade," the report by author Kent Davis argues, "the U. S. is in a solid position to move to a privatized pension program that stimulates economic growth, promotes private savings, and strengthens individual freedoms."

While it endorses private investment of Social Security taxes by individuals, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy opposes President Clinton's proposal for the government to do the investing. Echoing the objections of Federal Reserve System chairman Alan Greenspan, the Mackinac Center believes that government investment in the stock market would be fraught with perilspoor investment choices and meddling in the affairs of private companies, to name just two.

The full report can be secured from the Mackinac Center for $5.00 postpaid, or can be accessed via the Internet at www.mackinac.org.