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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

It's Time To Face The Facts About The Future Of Social Security

by Brittany Hunter: The prospects for solving the national debt crisis always appear bleakest when the Social Security Trustees release their annual report on the financial outlook of America’s single largest government program.

At a projected cost of $929 billion in 2016, the octogenarian government program is going to have to start selling off its assets to pay the bills, and that only gets us to 2034.

While some of the increased costs of the program are due to the aging population, a lot can be attributed to the program’s underlying structure. Created in 1935, Social Security was built for a world that looked nothing like today.

Life expectancy was 62, the plurality of American workers were in the agriculture sector, and almost no one had the opportunity to save for their retirement with the same financial tools of the highest income earners, much less be able to do it from the palm of their hand while listening to Skrillex’s new album and receiving live notifications of the latest celebrity to pretend they care about Cleveland and/or basketball on Twitter.

Just like the program for which it projects catastrophe, the Social Security Trustees’ report has delivered the same thing to us year after year. The trust fund will be insolvent in t-minus 18 years.

Millennials get this, which is part of the reason we are saving at a higher rate than any other age cohort in the country. And while we can try to save for our personal futures, what can be done to save the future of our country, whose current leaders ignore the constant warnings from their own sentry?

As Social Security continues to grow, other federal revenues will be consumed by this one program, leaving more deficit spending and rapidly increasing debt. Federal debt is bad for the economy.

While there is robust debate about the exact level at which federal debt begins to hurt an economy, with economic estimates from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Bank of International Settlements, and Harvard ranging from 60 percent to 90 percent, economists are generally in agreement that both high levels and fast rates of debt growth are detrimental to an economy. The U.S. is facing both and Washington refuses to do anything about it.

Using data from the Urban Institute, and accounting for the cuts projected by the CBO and the latest Trustees’ report, a median income-earning Millennial retiring in 2060 will pay $466,000 into the program over a lifetime and receive $377,000 in lifetime benefits.

We are not even wrecking the economy for a good payout! It is well past time that Social Security is reformed for the modern world, not only to avoid bankrupting the country but to match our policy solutions with the problems of our time.
Brittany Hunter is a Staff Contributor at Generation Opportunity who shared this article with the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Generation Opportunity, Brittany Hunter, facts, future, Social Security, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 1:10 PM - Post Link


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