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The Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, has launched an effort to get Congress to convert Social Security into a private retirement program.

The institute announced its plans Monday, on Social Security's 60th anniversary, and argued that working Americans could gain a far better return in retirement if allowed to invest their payroll taxes privately.The aging of the baby boom generation and other demographic trends will put increasing pressure on Social Security in the years ahead, and it will begin spending more on benefits than it collects in taxes in 2013. Unless the system is changed, Social Security will run out of money in 2030.

"We should be discussing how to encourage private investments as a supplement to Social Security, not as a substitute," Social Security Commissioner Shirley Chater said recently.