One of the lines you'll hear again and again from supporters of phasing out Social Security is, 'Well, what possible problem could you have with letting people decide what they do with their own money? You think they're not smart enough? They can't be trusted?'
People who make this argument seem to have forgotten that -- the efforts of some malefactors notwithstanding -- we live in a democracy. They are deciding and will be for most of the next two years.
I have little doubt that if the American people decide that they don't like the Social Security program and would like to replace it with a system of 401-k like private investment accounts, that they'll do it. Certainly, if that's their choice, they'll have the help of the president, all his big financial backers and the leadership of the majority party in both houses of Congress in putting their judgment into effect. So I somehow doubt the popular will would be thwarted in any way.
The truth is that it's the president, more than anyone else, who doesn't trust people to decide what to do with their own money and their own futures. If he did, he wouldn't be lying to them so much about Social Security. He'd be arguing for his phase-out plan on the merits.