published Friday, September 16th, 2011

‘Saving’ Social Security

For three-quarters of a century, Social Security has been one of the most popular of the programs adopted during the Great Depression and New Deal era. Now the big issue is how to keep Social Security financially sound for the millions of workers who look forward to receiving Social Security checks when they retire.

The problem has been expressed in this warning by the Social Security trustees: “After 2014, cash deficits are expected to grow rapidly as the number of beneficiaries continues to grow at a substantially faster rate than the number of covered workers.”

In other words, there will be a lot more retirees receiving payments but not a lot more workers paying money in to finance the benefits.

Last year, a bipartisan commission examining Social Security taxes noted that in 1950, there were 16 workers contributing payroll taxes to finance the program for each recipient, but that today there are only three workers paying in for each person receiving Social Security benefits.

By the year 2025, the ratio will be down to 2.3 to 1! And over the next 75 years, the commission said, the program will face a shortfall equivalent to about 1.9 percent of taxable payroll.

The commission warned that “Unless we act, these immense demographic changes will bring the Social Security program to its knees.”

Of course, we can’t allow that to happen because so many millions of Americans have paid into Social Security and are relying on it to be there. So, something must be done.

One proposal, from congressional liberals, is to increase the payroll tax on the wealthy. They say that will bring in trillions of dollars over the next several decades, and keep Social Security solvent. Other observers are not so sure that money would really go toward shoring up Social Security, and the proposal contrasts with President Barack Obama’s current proposal to include a payroll tax cut in his massive new stimulus bill.

We don’t want to let Social Security beneficiaries down — and we don’t want to raise Social Security taxes on workers still on the job. That would reduce economic activity and ultimately government revenue.

Solutions are not evident, but it is refreshing that at last there is a real conversation going on about the dire circumstances facing Social Security.

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conservative said...

Ida May Fuller, the first Socialism Security recipient, received about 925 times what she paid into the ponzi scheme before she died! She loved the scheme just like those who have been receiving checks for many years. They paid in little but were paid much. The AARP has supplied them with responses to justify this excess such as : their money earned interest, its their money, they paid into the system and are entitled to it, they went through a depression, they went through a war, and its for everyone. The media has made it worse by constantly allowing Demoncrats to lie about it being sound. Pain is enevitable there is no easy solution.

September 16, 2011 at 7:50 a.m.
hambone said...

What if! Congress paid back the $2.9 trillion it has raided from SS.

September 16, 2011 at 8:31 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Social Security cost $750 Billion in 2010 and is rising rapidly hambone. $2.9 trillion only represents about 3 years of outlays by 2015, more like 2 years of outlays at 2025 rates. Certainly a couple of years of reserves would help but it does not address the structural problem of Social Security, that it is dependent on strong population growth to fund the existing revenue / payment (Ponzi) scheme. I would think "liberals" would like to see population growth slow down (to help save the planet) and as such would be more willing to address this Social "Security" problem.

September 16, 2011 at 1:44 p.m.
hambone said...

For years Congress has "borrowed" from SS and left IOU's. This year is the first year that SS is taking in less than it is paying out. Now Congress is faced with "borrowing from China" to make up the difference.

where did the SS funds that they raided go? To big tax cuts and unfunded wars and mandates.

Now the GOP wants to cut SS and not honor the IOU's!!

Even at that, SS is solvent for about 25-30 more years if Congress will leave it alone and just adjust the SS rates a little.

September 16, 2011 at 4:37 p.m.
SavartiTN said...

Just increase the tax for Social Security BACK to the 6.2% that it was before the recent reduction. That should help. It was ridiculous to reduce the tax in our current economic state.

September 16, 2011 at 5:19 p.m.
conservative said...

Hambone, where is the budget or bill proposed by the Demoncrats to raise taxes to replenish the 2.9 trillion shortfall ( your figure), in the "Social Security Trust Fund"? It would certainly make my day if they would, for America would then see how crazy the Demoncrats are. Also, you obviously don't understand what a tax cut is. Simply put, if I get a tax cut, this means the gov gets less of my money NOT that some money is withdrawn from some mythical gov fund. Now, Obamboozler did send checks out to people who paid no federal income taxes and called those a tax cut. Maybe that is where you got confused.

September 16, 2011 at 5:48 p.m.
hambone said...

conservative, if you notice I didn't say the Democrates or Republicans raided the SS fund, I said congress raided it. But now it IS the GOP that is blaming all the debt on SS.

In 1945 the National Debt was $ 258.582 billion. In 2010 it was $13.561 trillion. Under Truman it went up 2.8%, under Eisenhower it went up 8.6%, under Kennedy-Johnson it went up 22.4%, under Nixon-Ford it went up 97.5%, under Reagan-Bush1 it went up 445%, under Clinton it went up 31%, under Bush2 it went up 205% and so far under Obama it has gone up 13.8%.

Democratic presidents are responsible for $3.389 trillion of the national debt while Republican presidents are resposible for $9.914 trillion.

The GOP likes to refer to the Democrats as the "tax and spend party" I guess you can say they are the "borrow and spend more party"

But then again deficits don't matter when a Republican is in the White House!!

September 16, 2011 at 7:17 p.m.
conservative said...

Hambone, I have noticed that when you lose an argument, you just write something else even more outlandish. You claim that Demoncrat presidentS are responsible for 3.389 trillion of the debt, yet the national debt has increased over 4 trillion under Oblamer alone! You wrote " But now it IS the GOP that is blaming all the debt on SS" and earlier in the day "Now the GOP wants to cut SS and not honor the IOU's!!". Your drawing the wrong kind of attention to yourself.

September 16, 2011 at 8:40 p.m.
hambone said...

Conservative, I don't see that I have changed the subject, maybe just not made clear enough for you.

The figures I quoted were thru FY 2010. FY 2009 budget was Bush's with the ending national debt at $11,909.892 trillion. At the end of FY 2010 it was $ 13,561.623 trillion.

To date 9/15/2011 it is $14,696.964 trillion. Which leaves Obama getting credit for $ 2,787.131 trillion not $4 trillion that Fox says.

The national debt doesn't even reflect the $2,9 trillion congress has raided from SS. Most of which was during Reagan's administration.

Smoke and mirror accounting by Congress has got us to this point and it is WE, the people that caused it by what we wanted from government but didn't want to pay for.

If congress had not been able to raid SS the national debt would be $2.9 trillion higher and SS would be in great shape!!

Now it is the GOP that keeps blaming it on SS in order to keep tax cuts for the wealthy and tax payer funded subsidies for big oil.

I do agree that even a temporary cut in SS taxes now is a bad idea.

September 16, 2011 at 9:53 p.m.
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