- Get people off of Social Security - this is generally via private accounts
- Cover the future shortfall for Social Security (due to all those people not paying into it any more) by deficit spending
Even more troubling are the recommendations in some of the plans to tie increases in Social Security benefits to cost-of-living increases instead of wage increases. At first, this seemed like a reasonable idea to me. Then I read an article (which I now can't find) which pointed out the problem: if the creator's of Social Security had tied increases in benefits to cost-of-living instead of wage increases, Social Security today would not provide enough money for its recipients to have electricity or a telephone. Yes, it's true. Most people had neither when Social Security was formed. And a cost-of-living index would not have adjusted for the change in living standards that has occurred in the last 70 years. Imagine living without electricity or a phone today, and you can see why a cost-of-living metric is a built-in problem for the future.