December 20, 2014

OPINION: Social Security gravy train wreck looms

Danedri Thompson

dthompson@gardnernews.com

Granny, please don’t fall for this bribe.

In the face of what’s sure to be overwhelming political losses in November, Democrats are promising to offer Social Security recipients a one-time payment of $250.

Seniors are angry they won’t be receiving a cost of living adjustment in their social security checks this year. The cost of living adjustment – or COLA – is tied to the consumer price index, which for the second year in a row hasn’t increased.

It’s time for a serious discussion about Social Security, but it’s a conversation the country can’t have if one side of the aisle is determined to use the social program as a political football.

Social Security as we know it today is unsustainable. Here are the social security facts, and they are indisputed:

• According to a Social Security Trustees report, by 2016, Social Security will pay more in benefits than it collects in payroll taxes.

• The numbers continue to look worse and worse. In 1940, there were 42 workers per every Social Security beneficiary. In 1950, there were 16. Today there are three. Within the next decade there will be two or fewer.

• Currently, and almost from its inception, Social Security has run a surplus. Congress will collect about $200 billion more than it divvies in Social Security checks this year. Unfortunately, instead of setting that money aside, they’ve already spent it on other things leaving only “IOUs” in the Social Security bank. (This is the number one reason we should never agree to send Congress or other governing bodies any additional money in the form of new taxes or increases. They can’t be trusted to spend the money as originally intended. History shows us that it doesn’t matter who is in power. The end result is the same. People aren’t programmed to play cautiously with other people’s money.

• According to a Boston University study by Laurence J. Kotlikoff, a professor of economics at the school and Jagadeesh Gokhlae, economic advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, people who entered the labor force in 2000 will pay far more into the system than they can ever hope to receive. A 20 year old female, who started working in 2000, will contribute $92,000 more in social security taxes than she’ll get out. For a male starting work at the same time, he’ll pay $312,000 more than he’ll receive in benefits.
Of course, seniors today are enjoying more than they paid into the system.

However, the Social Security gravy train is about to run dry, and $250 isn’t going to make up the difference.

Senior voters shouldn’t be fooled by Democratic bribes this November, unless they want to stick their grandchildren with the $13 billion-plus bill down the road.

Comments

  1. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    To put Danedri’s $13 billion in “Democratic bribes in November” figure in perspective, it has been estimated that since December 2001 United States taxpayers have spent approximately $10.3 billion per MONTH on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Which expenditure is more important than the other in protecting the welfare of our society?

  2. ThePatriot says:

    When Ms. Thompson says “ . . . one side of the aisle is determined to use the social program as a political football.” Who is she kidding? Both sides have raided the Social Security Trust fund ever since President Nixon convinced Congress to put the account into the general fund. In fact the federal government has been borrowing against the Social Security fund since 1983 and we have had 3 republican and 2 democrat administrations since then. The republicans controlled congress from 1994 through 2006 during which the Social Security fund was regularly raided. The democrats have done the same. So, Ms. Thompson, to lay the blame on one party just to bolster Republican creditability on fiscal restraint is laughable. It is also a lie.

    PS to Mr. Kellogg nice comparison but none of that $10.8 billion per month is going toward making this country safer.

  3. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    My point exactly, Patriot.

  4. How am I supposed to read non-biased news if Danedri is so obviously biased? This newspaper has got to be a joke.

  5. Fell out of bed feeling down. This has birgehtned my day!

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