As is usually the case, the argument revolves around each person's own self-interest. The public has been fed information that has swayed the debate as each camp tries to gain public support. It is fair to say that the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle and that is also where we will find a solution.
Reaching an agreement is difficult because of the misinformation that continually comes out of our nation's capitol. Baby Boomers are just now beginning to enjoy the benefits of the program. They have been told that the system is broke and they rightfully fear that they may not reap the rewards from the money they have spent a lifetime contributing. Shipman claims the system is a,"[...] coercive, intergenerational transfer tax system that relies on unrealistic assumptions and pays unreasonably low benefits". From their point of view, an overhaul offers them some hope that the system will be functional when they retire. But is their fear well founded There are well-intentioned people that say the panic is all for nothing.
There are political factions that insist the system is not broke and with a little tweaking it will operate as intended for decades. They contend that the people who have the most to gain from privatization are large banks, brokers, and insurance companies. It is these powerful lobbies that promote fear about the system going bankrupt.