The truth about Social Security

You would think telling Americans the truth about the financial state Social Security would be easy and straightforward, but it’s not. There are individuals and groups with their own agenda who mislead and intentionally lie.

One of the worst in my opinion is SocialSecurityWorks which even today claims there is money to expand SS and in the past has insisted SS has a surplus.

The fact is the SS trusts are running out of money and the payment of full earned benefits cannot be sustained without changes. Incoming taxes will always allow payment of some benefits, but not all those earned.

Making SS fully sustainable is not that hard. If Americans were simply told the truth and Congress made the necessary changes, we would then be able to rationally talk about expanding benefits.

“Social Security’s total cost is projected to exceed its total income (including interest) in 2020 for the first time since 1982, and to remain higher throughout the remainder of the projection period. Social Security’s cost will be financed with a combination of non-interest (tax) income, interest income, and net redemptions of trust fund asset reserves from the General Fund of the Treasury until 2035 when the OASDI reserves will become depleted. Thereafter, scheduled tax income is projected to be sufficient to pay about three-quarters of scheduled benefits through the end of the projection period in 2093. The ratio of reserves to one year’s projected cost (the combined trust fund ratio) peaked in 2008, generally declined through 2018, and is expected to decline steadily until the trust fund reserves are depleted in 2035.” Summary from Trustee Report.


  1. I do not know if I should laugh or cry, when I read comments on Social Security funding problem articles.

    People need to be told the truth, too many believe LBJ, Clinton, GW Bush, and Obama took money out of Social Security.and if the government would just pay that money back everything would be a ok. When you tell them that did not happen, they tell you to Google it. Just because it is on the internet does not mean it is true.

    When you tell them that no one paid enough in taxes to cover what they will receive in total benefits if they live into their late 70s or 80s, they say but I paid SS taxes for 45 + years, it is my money.

    Here is the problem with SS – it covers disability, survivors, retirees and spousal benefits, all underfunded at current FICA tax rates.

    My mother and father and their employers paid $37,000 in FICA taxes adjusted for inflation from 1948 to 1995. My father died at age 66, My mother is now 89 and has collected $165,000 in benefits since 1995. When my mother started working in 1948 she started at 50 cents per hour and in 1995 she was making $7.25 per hour. Not a whole lot was paid n FICA taxes. My father was a self employed mechanic and paid in the bulk of the FICA taxes.

    I and my employers paid $86,000 in FICA taxes adjusted for inflation from 1972 to 2006. I and my wife who never worked outside the home receive a total of $1,324 per month in Social Security benefits at age 63. If we live to age 85 we will collect $333,648 not counting COLAs. says that the average worker gets back all FICA taxes paid in 8 years.

    I will have all the FICA taxes paid back in just 5,5 years.

    My sister and her husband will have all FICA taxes $250,000 back in 7 years.When my sister is 85 and her husband is 79 they will have received $643,000, not counting COLAs in total benefits

    So, for me after age 68 every dollar I receive from Social Security will be above what was paid in FICA taxes. So, when I hear people say if I could of invested the FICA taxes, I would be way better off, I just laugh.


    1. You got, but people don’t want to hear the truth. SocialSecurityWorks group tells people there is a surplus and plenty of money to add benefits. When I challenged that, they blocked me on Facebook.


  2. There have been recent proposals to use Social Security to pay for family leave. Recipients would “borrow” against future benefits or something like that. Maybe we should have Social Security pay for college too?


    1. I have not heard of that one , but I am not surprised. We might as well do it, since Elizabeth Warren wants to forgive $50k in college loan debt to those who are irresponsible.

      How come college students and retirees are too irresponsible for their finances but are responsible enough to raise their right hand to die our country?

      The people who do not believe that social security is running out of money are the same ones who do not understand 401K, loans, credit cards and other financial products. It is not that hard to understand if you can balance a checkbook. Maybe proof that you can balance a checkbook should be required before getting a student loan.


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