Is Social Security Really Broke?  

No Way!  It is a Cash Cow that the administration is Milking in the name of Economic Stimulus!

The Money Is There!  The Government Just Doesn't Want to Pay It!

(Revised 08/24/2011)

First, SSA is NOT broke.  IT HAS A POSITIVE BALANCE ON THE BOOKS.  In fact, the trust funds hold more U.S. debt than China and other privately held treasuries together. In fact, SS is one of the largest holders of Federal debt.

Second, SSA Trust Fund balances are invested in secure government bonds ant the total portfolio is earning around 5.3%.  (The average for all national debt is about 2.76%.) Contrary to most impressions, SS is a good deal and is essential for those who can not amass a large personal wealth to support them in retirement.

Third, The problem is NOT the Old-Age Survivors Benefits and Disability insurance.  The major problem and threat is from the separate fund for Medicare A, B, and D.  Politicians confuse the public debate by combining these 4 separate trusts into one issue.

Fourth, If the government fails to fund SSA needs then the government is in DEFAULT! 

Fifth, Of all government programs to stimulate the economy Social Security translates directly into the economy usually within the month -unlike tax credits and subsides.

Sixth, Think of Social Security not as a "tax" but as an "annuity investment." Most of us have seen the TV ads about "Guaranteed Income for Life!"  If you don't think Social Security is a great deal then try pricing out your own annuity - with disability insurance, spouse benefits, etc. 

While I do agree that the government MUST cut the debt but SSA is NOT the problem. See: http://www.remappingdebate.org/article/stop-crying-fire-social-security-theater 

From the CBO: http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=11580  SSA will not be able to pay beneficiaries by, maybe, 2039. 

"Social Security is the federal government's largest single program, and as the U.S. population grows older in the coming decades, its cost is projected to increase more rapidly than its revenues. As a result, under current law, resources dedicated to the programs will become insufficient to pay full benefits in 2039, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects. Long-run sustainability for the program could be attained through various combinations of raising taxes and cutting benefits."

"Some politicians claim the securities held by federal programs such as Social Security and Medicare are "worthless IOUs" but they are wrong. An IOU is just another way of saying bond. These bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. No president or Congress would risk defaulting on these bonds because it would ruin the nation's financial standing."

Want to see a list of sovereign states by public debt?  (Older data - U.S. debt is more than 100% of GNP.)   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_public_debt

Want to see a list of countries and their external debt including private debt as a % of GNP?  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_external_debt  We are one of the highest % debt among major nations! 

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Please tell your political leadership, and others as needed, to stop with the B.S. and posturing.  We deserve better!

Windjammer

Fogcutters.net - Finding Where Truth Hides

Copyright 2011 - 2012 H&H Associates.  All rights reserved.       

Important Links

Remapping the Debate - Stop crying "fire" in the Social Security theater.  Site debates various current issues.

Congressional Budget Office - The Congressional Budget Office projects long-run sustainability for the program.

Washington Post - The Fact Checker by columnist Glenn Kessler

Wikipedia - Debt to GNP and Sovereign Debt tables.

 

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Is this our U.S.A.? "In failing circumstances no one can be relied on to keep their integrity." Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) U.S. poet, essayist and lecturer.

 

Supplemental Information:

2010 SSA Trustee Report

Trust Fund Data - FAQ

Trust Fund Activity:
Monthly Transaction Reports

SSA Financial Projections

Full Retirement Age Chart

SSA Trust Fund Interest Rates

Historic Contribution Rates

SSA Cost of Living Chart

Status of Social Security and Medicare  Projections showing the effect of Old Age Survivor Insurance, Disability Ins, Medicare A, B & D together.  Lots of Info - See "Summary."