(April 18)  Give Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) credit for being one of the few national legislators with enough guts to insist that major reforms will be needed to save Social Security .

One idea in particular, that of creating a separate investment plan apart from Social Security but whose proceeds are dedicated to the retirement program, is worthy of extensive consideration.

Right now, the main Social Security “trust fund” is projected to become insolvent in just 10 years. Yet the major contenders for president in 2024, especially former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden but also Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), are spewing demagoguery portraying just about any reform effort as an attempt to “cut” Social Security. As Cassidy has noted innumerable times in recent months, these politicians lie. In fact, under current law, benefits would be cut by 24% immediately upon the program reaching insolvency. Trump and Biden, by doing nothing, are the ones who would be cutting Social Security.

A month ago, Cassidy left Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen all but muttering gibberish as he questioned (and lectured) her about this simple, undeniable fact.

Cassidy has been working with Sen. Angus King (I-ME) to produce a plan to rescue the system while preserving as inviolable the option of “early retirement” at age 62 for those willing to accept lower monthly payments. They haven’t put forth a final proposal yet, but Cassidy, on April 16, confirmed on Meet the Press that one element almost sure to be included is the creation of a “sovereign wealth” program.

“In our big idea, we create a fund which is separate from Social Security,” Cassidy said. “We put about $1.5 trillion in it, and we allow it to be invested in the nation’s economy. There’s no risk borne by the beneficiary. And there’s no Social Security dollars put into this separate fund. And we allow it to sit there. And we allow it to grow. And at the end, it bridges, helps bridge Social Security’s sustainability. All the risk is borne by the fund.”…. [The full column is here.]