My Opinion

Key facts about Social Security that tell the story. The American people have a decision to make.

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.

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3 replies »

  1. I continue to have friends and family say “I know I did not pay for my SS and Medicare benefits, but I paid in for all those years and I deserve it.” 21+ Trillion in debt and counting, CRAZY! I believe with government and personal debt worldwide at 250+ Trillion and more added every day, we may see a crash of the world economy that will make the 1930’s depression look like a Sunday picnic. We might not have to worry about SS and the 2034 shortage, we will have much bigger problems to face. Hold on it is going to be an E Ticket ride to the bottom.

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  2. You state:
    “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.”

    Not so. The elites refuse to allow everyday American taxpayers to make those decisions regarding their Social Security benefits. Instead, they want to buy votes with any changes.

    You also state: “This is a shared responsibility of all Americans not just of a certain income class.” Again, that won’t be the case if Congress gets to decide the best option to buy votes.

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  3. Q, what you say is true. Due to the fact that the overwhelming majority of Americans have virtually no knowledge of either Social Security or Medicare, the decisions which will be made will be poor ones. An uninformed electorate is responsible for allowing the impending crisis. When the fixes are finally made, they will be late, hurried and far more economically painful than if they were made much earlier.

    If you ask voters what they thought of President Obama’s appointed Simpson Bowles recommendations, it will be blank stares . Of course, Obama and both congressional Democrats and Republicans ignored it too.

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