Cut through all the political rhetoric, here are some facts from the Social Security Administration. These are the numbers that explain most of the reason why the program is headed toward insolvency and unable to pay 100% of promised benefits. It’s not because anyone stole the money or some Americans don’t pay their fair share.
▶️ In 1940, the life expectancy of a 65-year-old was almost 14 years; today it is just over 20 years.
▶️ By 2035, the number of Americans 65 and older will increase from approximately 49 million today to over 79 million.
▶️ There are currently 2.8 workers for each Social Security beneficiary. By 2035, there will be 2.2 covered workers for each beneficiary.
Social Security is in the shape it is because benefits have been improved over the years and coupled with demographic changes the expenditures exceed incoming revenue (taxes) and Congress over twenty years has failed to make adjustments to the program or to increase revenue to offset the changes.
These factors are no secret, they didn’t sneak up on anyone, they have been clearly outlined by the Trustees in their reports for many years … and the Trustees have been ignored.
This is not a Democratic or Republican issue, all politicians and administrations are to blame. They have been too interested in not telling you the truth; in manipulating you to gain votes and political favor. One might also assume the coming crisis was created intentionally when it could easily have been avoided.
The American people have a decision to make. How do they want to assure Social Security will pay anticipated benefits; change the program prospectively or raise taxes (for every worker) or some combination of both?
Americans also must decide how much more of their current income they want to set aside now (taxes) in favor of higher retirement (or disability/survivor) income years in the future.
This is a shared responsibility of all Americans not just of a certain income class.