Social Security is Already Bankrupt

Social Security is often called "the third rail of American politics."  It is a program which puts the federal government in the position of guaranteeing retirement money for anyone who lives 65 years.  Of course the federal government is not authorized to undertake such business, as there is nothing in the Constitution which authorizes direct payments to individuals.  Saving and investing for a comfortable retirement is the business of banks and credit unions.
The IRS started requiring Social Security numbers on tax returns in 1962.
This material came from akdart.com Over the years the Social Security number has become a de facto national identification number, and may end up on your National ID Card even though everyone was assured that would never happen when Social Security numbers were first assigned.  Back then, had the public been able to foresee today's use of the Social Security number as a serial number for every worker, no doubt the program would have met with great opposition.

Quoting from CPSR:
For the first few decades that SSN cards were issued, they carried the admonition: "Not to be used for Identification." Unfortunately there was never any law passed instituting this as a policy. The Social Security Agency was apparently attempting to instill good values in the citizens, but was apparently unsuccessful in preventing government encroachment into this territory.
Today, Social Security "contributions" are withheld from the paychecks of people (like me) who are given little or no realistic hope of ever seeing that money again.  It is therefore just another federal tax.  "Guarding Social Security" is a way to buy votes, or to frighten the elderly into voting for the people who are most likely to perpetuate the system.  But the government's hollow promise of assuming responsibility for an infinite pool of retirement money is not just hard to believe — for young wage earners especially, it is beginning to look like a colossal hoax and a cruel scam.  With the recipients living longer and becoming more numerous, many people consider it one of the greatest pyramid schemes of all time.

The whole notion of retirement is a relatively new concept.  The Bible (that is, the authorized King James Version) mentions nothing about retirement — apparently we're supposed to keep working until we die.

Some of the information on this page pertains to the use and abuse of the Social Security Number as a national identifier.  More information can be found on this page.

All the information about Medicare, Medicaid, and prescription drug benefits for senior citizens is now on this page.

Note:  Federal, state and local governments spent a total of $747.1 billion on pensions in 2006.*



CBO Director: Important to Give Advance Warning About Coming Changes to Social Security.  The United States faces "fundamental fiscal challenges" stemming from the growth in spending for Social Security and major health care programs," CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf told a gathering in Washington on Tuesday [3/18/2014].  The rising cost of those programs leaves Americans with "unpleasant" choices to make, but the sooner they're made, the better, he said.

7 Lies Liberals Tell Young Americans.  [#2]  Social Security and Medicare will be there for you:  Young Americans are expected to pay into Medicare and Social Security, but the programs aren't going to be there in their present forms when they get old enough to use them.  In other words, we're defrauding young Americans. We're telling them to pay today so they'll be taken care of when they get old, but we have no intention of ever allowing them to collect.  Unless there are massive changes made to our entitlement programs, most young Americans should expect to work until they die.

Don't Let Death Stop your Social Security.  Uncle Sam, always generous to a fault with taxpayers' money, doled out about $108 billion in Social Security benefits to the dead in 2012.

Dead or alive? Social Security can't always say.  Federal auditors said Friday the Social Security Administration still struggles with a basic problem — figuring out who is dead and who is not.  The question is a crucial one, since federal agencies rely on the administration to cross-match data on deceased persons and avoid paying out federally funded benefits to people who aren't alive, or to establish accurate benefits for survivors.  The administration also maintains a "Death Master File" that is available to the public.

Implosion of Social Security Disability Ponzi Scheme Accelerates.  Fresh data just released by the trustees of the Social Security Administration show that the number of people receiving benefits from the Disability Insurance Trust Fund has exploded over the last five years, reducing the surplus in that fund from $216 billion in 2008 to just over $100 billion in 2013.  There were 7.4 million recipients in January 2009, but as of October 2013, there are nearly nine million beneficiaries, not including another two million spouses and children of disabled workers who are also receiving benefits.  Simple math illustrates the inevitable:  If those receiving benefits for disability (real or faked) continues to increase, the trust fund will be bankrupt in less than three years.

Do Americans Prefer Deception?.  Congress tells us that one-half (6.2 percent) of the Social Security tax is paid by employees and that the other half is paid by employers, for a total of 12.4 percent.  Similarly, we are told that a Medicare tax of 1.45 percent is levied on employees and that another 1.45 percent is levied on employers.  The truth of the matter is that the burden of both taxes is borne by employees.  In other words, we pay both the employee and the so-called employer share.

Agencies can't always tell who's dead and who's not, so benefit checks keep coming.  The U.S. government has a problem with dead people.  For one thing, it pays them way too much money.  In the past few years, Social Security paid $133 million to beneficiaries who were deceased.  The federal employee retirement system paid more than $400 million to retirees who had passed away.  And an aid program spent $3.9 million in federal money to pay heating and air-conditioning bills for more than 11,000 of the dead.

Breaking the Third Rail.  Social Security, Tip O'Neill once observed, is the third rail of politics.  Lawmakers who touched the venerable retirement insurance program, or its cousins Medicare and Medicaid, were said to be zapped to death on the spot.  This was the case as recently as 2005, when President Bush tried to pass incremental reforms to Social Security.  Democrats rallied the public, the proposal flamed out, and Bush's domestic agenda suffered its most serious setback.  But lately, not only is criticizing entitlements not a political death kiss, it's actually become a necessity in Republican politics.

We Can't Solve Our Problems If We Deny We Have Them.  Over the next 20 years, Social Security will pay out $4.7 trillion more in benefits than it will bring in through the payroll tax.  Americans have been misled into believing this system is solvent because of the fiction of the Social Security Trust Fund — the "lockbox."  Now, to be truthful, the lockbox does exist — a four-drawer filing cabinet located in West Virginia that holds $2.8 trillion in U.S. government bonds.  The figure represents the accumulated surplus of payroll taxes over benefits, plus interest paid on those balances.  But those funds were spent by Washington politicians of both parties on other politically popular goodies.  That money is long gone.  The problem with the bonds that replaced it is they have absolutely no monetary value to the U.S. government.

Conn Job.  Stanville, a tiny town in eastern Kentucky, seems an unlikely place for a multimillion-dollar empire.  Yet for decades, an unscrupulous lawyer named Eric Christopher Conn has been working the Social Security disability system, securing benefits for even the most undeserving of clients, according to a new report from the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs.  The report describes a lucrative scheme that involved not only Conn but also a disability judge and several doctors with bad reputations — all of whom may have profited substantially.

Widespread fraud reported in Social Security Administration's Disability Program.  A two-year investigation by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has found widespread fraud in the Social Security Administration's Disability Program.  The fraud is so rampant, and disability cases have so proliferated in recent years, that the Social Security's Disability Trust Fund may run out of money in only 18 months, says Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., whose office undertook the investigation.

Committee Reveals Widespread Disability Scheme.  A Kentucky lawyer made millions off Social Security disability programs, devising a scheme with a judge to approve fraudulent claims at an "assembly-line" rate.  A two-year investigation led by Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.), ranking member on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, revealed a case of coordinated fraud responsible for the approval of billions in claims.

Social Security Judge Accused of Disability Scheme.  A retired Social Security judge in West Virginia collaborated with a lawyer to improperly award disability benefits to hundreds of applicants, according to a report released Monday [10/7/2013] by congressional investigators.

Social Security makes $1.3 billion in overpayments.  The Social Security Administration has paid an estimated $1.3 billion in disability insurance payments to thousands of people who weren't eligible for the benefits, a government watchdog report finds.

Binder on Binder & Binder.  The Social Security Administration pays an awful lot of money to people who aren't — and never claim to be — disabled.  When a person applying for disability secures a legal representative, then is successfully awarded benefits, the lawyer or advocate who helped him gets a generous cut of the money, paid directly from the SSA's disability fund.  In the first six months of 2013, the SSA has already forked over $642.6 million to these claimant representatives, who have a significant financial interest in getting people on disability.

Schumer: Put Aliens Who Forged Documents on Path to Citizenship.  Americans might generally think that if someone forges a document and uses a Social Security number that does not belong to them, they should go to jail.  Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., believes if you are an illegal alien and you do these things, you should become a U.S. citizen.  He made his case for this in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Social Security Faces $9.6T in Unfunded Liabilities — 83,894 Per Household.  The Social Security program faces $9.6 trillion in unfunded liabilities over the next 75 years, which is up $1 trillion from last year's projection of $8.6 trillion, according to the latest report from Social Security's board of trustees.

Paterson cardiologist admits to $19M in health care fraud.  A prominent cardiologist who ran medical services companies in New Jersey and New York pleaded guilty on Wednesday to orchestrating a massive fraud that subjected thousands of patients to unnecessary tests and procedures and resulted in $19 million in losses.  Dr. Jose Katz, 68, of Closter, confessed his crimes to U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares during a hearing in federal court in Newark.

Soaring Social Security disability rolls headed for collapse.  Jim Pethokoukis, of the American Enterprise Institute, has calculated that if labor force participation had not declined so much since Obama took office, the unemployment rate for January would have been 10.8 percent.  What happens to the workers who drop out of the labor force?  Some retire, some become full-time parents, some go on welfare.  But here's an important answer that is often overlooked:  In 2011, on average, one net person has been added to Social Security's Disability Insurance rolls (and 3.3 to its retirement program) for every five net new jobs created.

Entitlements: Washington's Official Lies About Spending.  The Social Security trust funds contain nothing more than IOUs, bonds that have absolutely no market value.  In other words, they are worthless bookkeeping entries.  Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system, meaning that the taxes paid by today's workers are immediately sent out as payment to today's retirees.  Social Security is just another federal program funded out of general revenues.

Government Gave 4,317 Aliens two Social Security Numbers Apiece.  A report from the Social Security Administration Inspector General (IG) found 4,317 instances where a non-citizen was able to obtain two Social Security numbers, including 542 instances that happened since 2001.  "We identified 4,317 instances where the Numident record of 2 SSNs assigned to noncitizens contained matching first, middle, and last names; dates and places of birth; gender; and fathers' and mothers' names," the IG reported on Dec. 10, 2012.

Social Security's disability trust fund could fail to cover all benefits early as 2016.  Over the long term, Social Security and Medicare have promised tens of trillions of dollars more in benefits than the nation can pay for under current policies.  But Social Security's disability trust fund is in even worse shape, and current estimates say by 2016 it won't have enough money to pay full benefits.

President Obama's Cat-Food Future For Retirees.  Americans are drawing down their 401(k)s for nonretirement needs in record numbers, just as Social Security goes bust.  This portends poverty for millions as the White House fiddles.

Obama's Social Security Games Make Case For Private Pensions.  President Obama threatened Social Security checks would be delayed if Congress didn't play ball on the debt ceiling.  Once again, he turned pensions into a political football.  There are ways to stop this.

Beyond waste and fraud.  When Social Security started in 1935, the eligibility age was 65 and life expectancy was 63.  Today, the average individual lives until age 78.  Boosting the eligibility age would impose little hardship on retirees while trimming the program that currently consumes more than a fifth of the federal budget.  Similarly, increasing the Medicare deductible to $6,400 per person would save $250 billion annually while encouraging consumers to better balance costs and benefits.

Social Security: It's Worse Than You Think.  For the first time in more than a quarter-century, Social Security ran a deficit in 2010:  It spent $49 billion dollars more in benefits than it received in revenues, and drew from its trust funds to cover the shortfall.  Those funds — a $2.7 trillion buffer built in anticipation of retiring baby boomers — will be exhausted by 2033, the government currently projects.  Those facts are widely known.  What's not is that the Social Security Administration underestimates how long Americans will live and how much the trust funds will need to pay out [...]

The Real Country-Killer in 2013.  Every week, the U.S. Treasury borrows money to keep operating, by holding auctions of "T-Bills."  Institutional investors, foreign and domestic, show up to bid on these government bonds (Treasury Bills).  What if investors decide that it just isn't worth risking any more of their money?  There won't be any money.  Even when the country still looks strong, investors could sit on the sidelines, worrying:  "Let someone else take the risk."  If the lending stops, can the country survive when the Ponzi scheme collapses?  What if there is no money to cut social security or Medicare checks, or operate the government?

Social Security Ran $47.8B Deficit in FY 2012; Disabled Workers Hit New Record in December: 8,827,795.  The Social Security program ran a $47.8 billion deficit in fiscal 2012 as the program brought in $725.429 billion in cash and paid $773.247 [billion] for benefits and overhead expenses, according to official data published by Social Security Administration.  The Social Security Administration also released new data revealing that the number of workers collecting disability benefits hit a record 8,827,795 in December -- up from 8,805,353 in November.

Shredding Liberal Talking Points, Again.  You cannot dispute this:  In 2010, social security payouts began to exceed revenue.  Same for 2011.  By 2015, social security is expected to pay out $7.9 trillion more than it takes in.  Who in their right mind can consider that position as "just fine?"

Time to own the election, America.  The nanny state is the president's plan — Americans' cash pouring into the government's coffers to be "redistributed."  Given away.  To whomever the government decides "deserves" it.  Want to plan for your own future?  Absurd.  Give us your money and we'll give it back to you in 40 years — if we deem you worthy.

Sheila Jackson Lee: Entitlements Off The Table, They Are "Earned".  Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX):  "There is no way, Mr. Speaker, that we should raise the eligibility age for Medicare, that we should not think carefully about how we approach the reform of Medicaid.  And that we don't the American people that Social Security is solvent. [..."]

The Editor asks...
If you are entitled to receive something, it isn't necessary to earn it.

Okay, President Obama, Let's be Fair.  Let's be fair.  People who are taking money from the Social Security fund under the guise of being disabled, when they are not, are essentially stealing the money from the people who obediently paid into Social Security.

Republicans for Big Government.  [Scroll down]  Stated differently, the federal government has no legal obligation to pay any money to any Social Security or Medicare or Medicaid applicant.  That's why those who have relied on the political wisdom of politicians, rather than their own prudential judgment, are dupes.  Let me rephrase that:  Those who have permitted politicians to use the force of law to compel us all to contribute our hard-earned income to a bankrupt government Ponzi scheme are dupes if they think this can work without end.

Washington's financial miscreants sucker us.  Only in a town like this would criminally reckless and penniless grifters still be at the bargaining table as their debtors and creditors pick through the rubble of the financial ruin they themselves created.  This Congress has for decades stolen billions out of our personal retirement account to fund an obscene lavishness and political nest-feathering that would make a king blush.

Jackson Lee: 'Who Wants to Make a Fuss About Social Security When It's Solvent?'  Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D.-Texas) said last week that Republicans are being "frivolous" when they talk about reforming Social Security as a means of fixing the federal government's fiscal problems because Social Security is "solvent."  According to Social Security's trustees, the program has operated in the red in each of the last two years.

Dems Say Social Security Doesn't Add to Deficit.  Congressional Democrats say they aren't willing to consider changes in Social Security in order to avoid the "fiscal cliff."  On Sunday, November 25, 2012, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), on ABC's This Week, said, "Social Security does not add one penny to the deficit.  Not a penny.  It's a separate funded operation, and we can do things that I believe we should now, smaller things, played out over the long term that gives it solvency."  Durbin also said that Social Security needs only a few minor tweaks, but no major reforms to ensure its long-term solvency.

Social Security and the Politics of Deceit.  Joe Biden's simplistic remark belies a horrific lack of understanding regarding the reality of investing versus the broken promises of Social Security.  The erroneous comment by Biden about the market and his disingenuous explanation of what life would have been like had you been able to make your own decisions with Social Security funds underscores the problems our nation faces in understanding the results of the 2012 presidential election.  In this election particularly, the politics of deceit continued unchecked when Biden's statement on Social Security went unchallenged.

Can we protect ourselves from Obama and those who elected him? (Part 2):  [Scroll down]  Assume Social Security won't be there for you.  If it is, and for whatever reason, you like government taking 6.2 percent of your paycheck and forcing your employer to match that amount, then good for you.  For the business-minded among us, it offers a poor return on your investment.  But then, it isn't really an investment, is it?  It's a tax.

It's the Welfare State, Stupid.  The Wall Street Journal recently ran a story about a couple (he 66, she 70) touring the world.  They've visited London, Paris, Florence and Buenos Aires.  Their financial adviser sends them $6,000 a month from investments and proceeds from their home sale.  They also receive Social Security.  How much?  They don't say.  My hunch:  between $25,000 and $50,000 a year.

Obama: 'Social Security is Structurally Sound;' Trustees: 'Unfunded Obligation ... Is $8.6T'.  President Barack Obama said in Wednesday night's presidential debate that Social Security is "structurally sound," but Social Security's Board of Trustees said in their 2012 annual report that the program faced $8.6 trillion in "unfunded obligations" — meaning that it is currently obligated to pay out $8.6 trillion more in benefits than it is anticipated to bring in through taxes.

Can Republicans Talk?  Vulnerable people, depending on that monthly Social Security check, need to hear that you understand that they paid into Social Security for years when they were working, and that it would be unconscionable to now cheat them out of what they paid for.  Policy wonks already know that nobody in his right mind has proposed any such thing.

The funny think about reform & fear.  That segment of the population that has the least to fear from a reform of Medicare or Social Security is the most fearful — namely, those already receiving Medicare or Social Security benefits.  It is understandable that people heavily dependent on these programs would fear losing their benefits, especially after a lifetime of paying into these programs.  But nobody in his right mind has even proposed taking away the benefits of those who are already receiving them.

Paul Ryan and Social Security — Do the Math.  First, let's just get this out of way.  Paul Ryan should be commended for putting forth any plan to address Social Security.  This already makes him more qualified than almost any other candidate in decades, including the one he is paired with in 2012 and the one he is running against.  That being said, the plan put forth in the Path to Prosperity, also known as the Paul Ryan plan, is based on two facts that most people are aware of, but aren't comfortable talking about.

Obama Declares War On Seniors, Steals Part Of Their SS Check.  Barack Obama's war on America's seniors knows no limits.  The Treasury Department is withholding part of the Social Security monthly payments of about 115,000 seniors because they have fallen behind on student loan payments.  There was a time when Social Security benefit payments were untouchable, but that is a thing of the past.

Duped by Congressional Lies.  The Social Security pamphlet of 1936 read, "Beginning November 24, 1936, the United States Government will set up a Social Security account for you. ... The checks will come to you as a right.".  Americans were led to believe that Social Security was like a retirement account and that money placed in it was, in fact, their property.  Shortly after the Social Security Act's passage, it was challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court, in Helvering v. Davis (1937).  The court held that Social Security was not an insurance program, saying, "The proceeds of both employee and employer taxes are to be paid into the Treasury like any other internal revenue generally, and are not earmarked in any way."

Fraud by illegal immigrants destroying children's lives.  The SSA Actuary estimates that 75 percent of illegal immigrants obtain and use a fraudulent Social Security number.

The Ugly Truth About Social Security Is Revealed.  A recent front page USA Today story inadvertently exposed the lie that is Social Security. [...] Sure enough, and despite the protests for years from big government apologists that our Social Security funds are secure, it turns out they're not.  We know this now not because we're logical, or because some libertarian said so, but because Jim Horney at the liberal Center on Budget Priorities told us exactly that.

Work 'til You Drop: Is that such a bad idea?  In the early 1900s, nearly 80 percent of Americans over the age of 65 had a job.  Dora Costa, an economic historian at UCLA, says people stopped working only if they were no longer physically able to.  They expected to work as long as they lived.  Is that really such a terrible idea?

The Road From Serfdom.  The argument conservatives too often make seems to be: "Trust us; we know what's best for you."  Yet when was the last time that voters trusted politicians of either party to make wise decisions on their behalf?  With congressional approval now hovering in the teens, there is little likelihood the public will back fundamental reform of the $1 trillion entitlement system.  But there is another way:  Give individual citizens the freedom to either stick with the government-run plan, or choose a market-based option.

The Real 'Entitlement Mentality' That Is Bankrupting America.  The two biggest entitlement programs — Social Security and Medicare — are seen by voters as trust funds they pay into during their working lives and then get back in their retirement years.  That's what President Franklin D. Roosevelt sold voters back in 1935.  He wanted the "contributors" to have a "legal, moral and political right to collect their pensions."  That's what voters still want today.

Let's End Social Security As We Know It.  Governments of most industrialized nations are staggering under mountainous debts.  Aging populations and slowing economic growth have undermined generous welfare states.  Least affordable are public pensions modeled after the infamous "investment" scheme popularized by Charles Ponzi.  Collect money from current taxpayers to pay current beneficiaries, and let the future take care of itself.

Why Do We Stick With Broken Social Security Model?  In its latest projection, the Congressional Budget Office found that the Social Security Trust Fund had $1 trillion less than expected.  Seems it always happens this way.  When will Washington recognize that the problem is the model?

Social Security Trust Fund Outlook Takes $1 Tril Dive.  The outlook for Social Security's trust fund has deteriorated to an astonishing degree over the past year, new Congressional Budget Office projections show.  The nonpartisan budget scorekeeper now expects the trust fund to peak in 2018 and decline to $2.7 trillion in 2022 — a full $1 trillion less than Social Security's own actuaries were expecting last year.

Social Security: The birth of Big Brother.  Just last year, 79 percent of respondents to a CNN/ORC poll rated Social Security "good for the country."  In the same survey, an astonishing 73 percent agreed that "Social Security is something that the U.S. Constitution allows the federal government to do."  Support for the program is both deep and broad, cutting across the political spectrum. ... This is sad because Social Security is every bit as offensive to liberty and fiscal sanity as Obamacare.

A Very Good Question about Our National Debt.  The total present value of payments expected under Social Security and Medicare beyond what is expected to be collected under current tax laws is about $100 trillion.  One way to put that amount of money in context is to note that it is about twice the amount of all the net private assets that exist in America today.  To answer cw's question directly, the best back-of-envelope estimate is that meeting this unfunded portion of our Social Security and Medicare commitments would require roughly an immediate 80 percent increase in federal income taxes, sustained forever.

Less than half believe Social Security is a good deal.  A new Rasmussen poll shows that only 48% of Americans believe Social Security is a good deal for working Americans today.  33% say it is not a good deal.  20% are unsure.  The numbers do not add up to 100 because of the way numbers are rounded.  56% of likely voters are either not very confident or not confident at all that they will receive all that has been promised to them from Social Security.

Is Social Security a Ponzi Scheme?  [Scroll down]  Don't be embarrassed if you've fallen for this scam.  So has The New York Times.  It tried to set Perry straight by reporting that "economists of all stripes agree" Social Security won't "exhaust the money in the trust fund" until 2037.  But as the Times itself conceded last year, this trust fund is no more than "an accounting device" that represents how much the government owes itself — or, in other words, how much must be extracted from taxpayers to cover all the surplus Social Security money Congress has squandered over the years.  The surpluses themselves are long gone, replaced by Treasury bonds that can be redeemed only through higher taxes or further borrowing (which eventually translates into higher taxes).

Federal Programs and Tax Breaks That Help Millionaires.  The total amount of Social Security retirement benefits paid to millionaires from 2004 through 2009 was more than $9 billion.  This high number of high-earners receiving benefits from the Social Security Trust Fund was never contemplated when the program was created because the program was intended as a safety net for low-income earners.

How Social Security went 'cash negative' earlier than expected.  Last year, as a debate over the runaway national debt gathered steam in Washington, Social Security passed a treacherous milestone.  It went "cash negative."  For most of its 75-year history, the program had paid its own way through a dedicated stream of payroll taxes, even generating huge surpluses for the past two decades.  But in 2010, under the strain of a recession that caused tax revenue to plummet, the cost of benefits outstripped tax collections for the first time since the early 1980s.

Entitlement Programs: A Plan to End Them.  America's financial situation is precarious.  Over the past eight years our national debt has doubled to $14.5 trillion, and our total unfunded liabilities now exceed an astonishing $114 trillion.  That's $1,115,000 per federal income taxpayer.  Even the most unrepentant spendthrift understands that these debts and liabilities are unsupportable, nor can they be solved by immorally targeting the rich.  Instead, we must enact immediate, across-the-board spending cuts, with special emphasis on the biggest components of our financial wreck:  Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.  These entitlement programs constitute the majority of our unfunded liabilities, because despite being labeled "trusts" they're not actually savings plans.

Social Security Disaster.  The very first Social Security check went to Ida May Fuller in 1940.  She paid just $24.75 in Social Security taxes but collected a total of $22,888.92 in benefits, getting back all she put into Social Security in a month.  According to a Congressional Research Service report titled "Social Security Reform" (October 2002), by Geoffrey Kollmann and Dawn Nuschler, workers who retired in 1980 at age 65 got back all they put into Social Security, plus interest, in 2.8 years.  Workers who retired at age 65 in 2002 will have to wait a total of 16.9 years to break even.  For those retiring in 2020, it will take 20.9 years.

All Entitlements Are Not Created Equal.  Social Security was advertised as an old age retirement savings plan:  your money saved by government and paid to you when you retire.  The advertising was false.  From the start, money paid OUT to retirees was money paid IN by still working Americans.  This is money that should have been set aside to pay for their retirement.  Social Security was and is a classic Ponzi scheme — a government initiated and government sanctioned transfer of funds intended for future retirees paid to present retirees.

Ponzi! Ponzi! Ponzi!  Many people think that when the government takes payroll tax from their paychecks, it goes to something like a savings account.  Seniors who collect Social Security think they're just getting back money that they put into their "account."  Or they think it's like an insurance policy — you win if you live long enough to get more than you paid in.  Neither is true.  Nothing is invested.  The money taken from you was spent by government that year.  Right away.  There's no trust fund.  The plan is unsustainable.  Medicare is worse.

You Say 'Ponzi Scheme,' I Say 'Fraud'.  Both the former Massachusetts governor and the current Texas governor understand that Social Security is a transfer program disguised as a retirement plan and that its frequently mentioned "trust fund" does not actually exist.  Their spat over how exactly to characterize that situation is illuminating not because it reveals substantive differences between the candidates but because it shows how often these simple truths are overlooked.

Authors of Social Security Believed It Was Unconstitutional.  Some of the main players involved in creating Social Security believed it was unconstitutional — and for good reason.  Yet, for them, not unlike many in today's Washington, the ultimate questions were not:  Is this good for the long-term future of the country, and does Congress have authority to do it?  They were:  Will this serve our immediate political interests, and can we get away with it?

The 'Ponzi' Sound Bite.  Governor Perry is not even among the first thousand people to call Social Security a Ponzi scheme.  Not only conservatives, but even some liberals, have been calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme for decades.

The Third Rail Unplugged.  For decades now political consultants, especially those of the Florida sub-species, have been able to charge big bucks to advise Republican candidates not to say anything about Social Security during campaigns.  It's the "third rail" of politics, they breathlessly warn.  Touch it and your political career goes up in smoke.

GOP Shows Healthy Disregard For 3rd Rail.  Social Security, long considered the "third rail" of U.S. politics, seems to have lost its power of shock. ... That represents a sea change compared to the last three decades, when any politician who dared to bring up the parlous state of Social Security's financing would be charged with "pushing grandma off a cliff" by special interests seeking to scare seniors.

An uncomfortable truth about Social Security.  Rick Perry has gotten a lot of heat for describing the Social Security system as "a Ponzi scheme," and he deserves it.  The Texas governor owes a big apology to Charles Ponzi.  Sure, Ponzi fleeced investors, but they at least had a choice about participating. Social Security operates on a compulsory basis.

It is a Ponzi scheme.  Social Security taxes on employee wages are transferred straight to the checks of current retirees, and the "fund" is just a pass-through account and past supluses were replaced with IOUs.  Fifteen years earlier, Charles Ponzi had a similar idea.

The Great Social Security Debate.  Social Security is a pay-as-you-go program.  A current beneficiary isn't receiving the money she paid in years ago.  That money is gone.  It went to her parents' Social Security check.  The money in her check is coming from her son's FICA tax today — i.e., her "investment" was paid out years ago to earlier entrants in the system and her current benefits are coming from the "investment" of the new entrants into the system.  Pay-as-you-go is the definition of a Ponzi scheme.

Perry and the Ponzis.  [Governor Rick] Perry's Ponzi-scheme claim is in no way original.  Not only have a raft of conservatives called Social Security a Ponzi scheme over the years, quite a few very respectable liberals have done so as well.  It is clearly wrong either to treat the Ponzi-scheme analogy as unprecedented or to rule it altogether out of legitimate public debate.

You're idiotic, he explained.  Is Social Security something of a Ponzi scheme?  It seems to me to partake of its essential elements, requiring new "investors" to pay off previous "investors."  The trappings of the program are sufficiently misleading that they would land principals operating in the private sector in serious trouble.

Rick Perry is right: Social Security is a Ponzi scheme.  Texas Governor Rick Perry has been criticized for saying that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme.  But he's absolutely right, and he is hardly the first guy to notice.  I figured that out 30 years ago.  A Ponzi scheme is an investment program where there are no real dividends.  It is able to make payouts to early investors only as long as there are enough new investors to pump money into it.  Once the new investments decline, the payouts decrease, and eventually there are no more payouts.

Is the Social Security Fraud Drawing to a Close?.  Social Security, not Medicare or Medicaid, is the crown jewel of the entitlement state.  For several generations now, it has been sold to voters as a more or less sacred compact.  Many Americans still believe that the federal government maintains an "account" in their name, which contains assets.  Some even think that their "account" contains their own contributions, carefully set aside for their retirement by Franklin Roosevelt or his successors.  If this is not the biggest fraud in the history of the human race, it is certainly in the top five.

Desperation On Rise.  In another sign of how lousy the president's so-called recovery's been, millions of desperately unemployed are now threatening to sink Social Security's disability lifeboat.

Social Security wrongly declares 14,000 people dead each year.  Of the approximately 2.8 million death reports the Social Security Administration receives per year, about 14,000 — or one in every 200 deaths — are incorrectly entered into its Death Master File, which contains the Social Security numbers, names, birth dates, death dates, zip codes and last-known residences of more than 87 million deceased Americans.  That averages out to 38 life-altering mistakes a day.

America: Time to Start Over.  [Scroll down]  This is a monstrous moral failing, a horrendous crime against our heirs.  The difference between ourselves and Bernie Madoff?  Not much, really.  It is the height of hypocrisy to put a man like Madoff behind bars for engaging in the same sorts of financial shell games that we like our politicians to play.  Social Security is every bit as much of a scam as a crooked hedge fund, yet FDR is lionized while Madoff rots in a cell — nothing could better encapsulate the moral and literal bankruptcy of our civilization.

Obama says he cannot guarantee Social Security checks will go out on August 3.  "I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven't resolved this issue.  Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it," Mr. Obama said in an interview with CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley, according to excerpts released by CBS News.

The Editor says...
[#1]  Who among us believes anything Obama says?
[#2]  When has a lack of money ever stopped the government from writing checks?

Obama Threatens to Withhold Social Security Checks.  According to Obama's own budget, the federal government will take in $2.174 trillion this year, and Social Security outlays will total $727 billion.  Moreover, the government has already borrowed plenty of money this year to supplement the $2.174 trillion.  So what, exactly, would Obama rather spend that money on, instead of sending out Social Security checks?

Obama Plays the Social Security Card.  If Barack Obama had a winning hand, would he have to resort to such dire scare tactics so soon?

Obama Exposes Social Security's Big Lie.  As Nancy Pelosi once put it: "Social Security has never failed to pay promised benefits, and Democrats will fight to make sure that Republicans do not turn a guaranteed benefit into a guaranteed gamble."  The AFL-CIO warned in 2005 about "President Bush's plan to replace Social Security's guaranteed benefits with risky private accounts."  The AARP describes Social Security as "the guaranteed part of your retirement plan."  Etc., etc.  Turns out, this "guarantee" is a lie.

What Happened to the $2.6 Trillion Social Security Trust Fund?  Either Obama and Geithner are lying to us now, or they and all defenders of the Social Security status quo have been lying to us for decades.  It must be one or the other.

How to Achieve a Balanced Budget Right Now:  Obama's claim that Social Security checks might not go out is very interesting, no?  If that were to happen, it would expose the fiction that Social Security has a "trust find," and would make it clear that Social Security funds have been fully raided for other spending.  Does Obama really want to go there?

Social Security: a Reckoning.  Understanding what, and who, is to blame for the Social Security funding crisis will allow us to move on and reach a solution that fairly allocates costs amongst current generations.  Gov. Christie recently said that pension and health care obligations are "the core problems of government spending in the country."  "Federal pension obligations under Social Security now are central to the current fiscal debate."

Nailing Obamacare's rationing board.  While lawmakers continue to argue about the best way to protect [Social Security] for the seniors it serves and those who it has yet to serve, there is a growing bipartisan consensus that the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) is one provision of the new health law that will do more to undermine the program than save it.

The Facts About Social Security.  [Scroll down]  So what has the Treasury done with the money?  Well, the federal government has spent it on its daily consumption:  education, loan guarantees, wars, etc.  In other words, the government has already spent the money it received in exchange for the IOUs.  The most recent projections say that, beginning in 2014, the program will begin permanently paying out more in benefits than it collects in taxes.  At that point, the program will start redeeming the IOUs in the trust fund and use them to pay benefits to current seniors until they run out.  But remember, the money is not there anymore.  So then what?

Social Security deficits now 'permanent'.  Social Security will run a permanent yearly deficit when looking at the program's tax revenues compared to what it must pay out in benefits, the program's trustees said Friday [5/13/2011] in a report that found both the outlook for Social Security and Medicare, the two major federal social safety-net programs, have worsened over the last year.  Medicare's hospital insurance trust fund is now slated to run out of money in 2024, or five years earlier than last year's projection, while Social Security's trust fund will be exhausted by 2036, a year earlier than the prior projection.

Entitlement Abuse — Here, There, and Everywhere.  Increasingly, we hear jaw dropping stories of abuse and fraud that should force our leaders in Washington to put the issue of fraud and abuse within the entitlement system formally on the table.  Just last week we learned of the case of the "Adult Baby", the 30-year old guy, that lives in a diaper, is fed by bottle and thus somehow entitled to taxpayer-supplied, social security disability for his condition.  Strangely, this is the very entitlement system that Obama and Democrats not only insist that we preserve, but are anxious to expand.

Repairing FDR's Ponzi scheme.  Social Security is broken, and there's no use pretending otherwise.  President Obama sounded Wednesday like he was open to the idea of limited reforms to the New Deal-era's signature entitlement program.  "There are those who believe we shouldn't make any reforms to Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security," said the president.  "But I guarantee that if we don't make any changes at all, we won't be able to keep our commitment to a retiring generation. ..."

Obama's Hockey Stick: The Federal Debt.  The national debt is calculated in two ways:  gross debt and net debt.  Net debt is primarily gross debt net of the various government "trust funds" the largest of which is Social Security.

Weiner's Social Security scam.  Democrats never miss an opportunity to pander to older voters by demagoguing on Social Security — and Brooklyn Rep. Anthony Weiner seems only too glad to lead the way.  Weiner, who dreams of becoming mayor, has introduced a bill to require a two-thirds majority in Congress to enact any changes in Social Security — a near-impossible hurdle.  His goal:  to "defend" an entitlement system he insists is "fiscally responsible" and fundamentally sound.

The Politics of Social Security Reform.  Democrat politicians are waging yet another media campaign to block Social Security reform.  Late last month Senator Durbin claimed, "Social Security does not add one penny to the deficit."  Two days later, a White House aide assured voters that Social Security reform is "not one you care about" and President Obama's budget director opposed reform in a USA Today op-ed.  The Hill then quoted half a dozen more Democrats singing from the same anti-reform songbook.

Obama's Social Security Hoax.  Everyone knows that the U.S. budget is being devoured by entitlements.  Everyone also knows that of the Big Three — Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — Social Security is the most solvable.  Back-of-an-envelope solvable:  Raise the retirement age, tweak the indexing formula (from wage inflation to price inflation) and means-test so that Warren Buffett's check gets redirected to a senior in need.  The relative ease of the fix is what makes the Obama administration's Social Security strategy so shocking.  The new line from the White House is:  no need to fix it because there is no problem.  As Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew wrote in USA Today just a few weeks ago, the trust fund is solvent until 2037.  Therefore, Social Security is now off the table in debt-reduction talks.  This claim is a breathtaking fraud.

Welfare State: Handouts Make Up One-Third of U.S. Wages.  Government payouts — including Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance — make up more than a third of total wages and salaries of the U.S. population, a record figure that will only increase if action isn't taken before the majority of Baby Boomers enter retirement.

Who rules America? AARP.  The great question haunting Washington's budget debate is whether our elected politicians will take back government from AARP, the 40 million-member organization that represents retirees and near-retirees.  For all the partisan bluster surrounding last week's release of President Obama's proposed 2012 budget, it reflects a long-standing bipartisan consensus not to threaten seniors.  Programs for the elderly, mainly Social Security and Medicare, are left untouched.

The Political Wisdom on Social Security is Bunk.  The government is profoundly broke and borrowing 40 cents of every dollar it spends.  The Federal Reserve is printing money by the bale to buy up the debt and friends and foes alike the world are still extending us credit, but the cliff is now in view.  Inflation, a weakened dollar and punitive borrowing rates all lie ahead.  Even so, the process of making cuts has been an exercise in demagoguery.

CBO: Social Security Now Officially Broke.  Today's CBO report has some bad news about the deficit.  But CBO has some really, really bad news about Social Security:  It's officially broke.  The CBO's revenue/expenditure estimates now place the program in permanent deficit.

Sinking it now is best for America in the long run.
Social Security: Anti-social and insecure.  FDR's New Deal turned out to be the Rip-off Deal.  There is an IOU for $2.5 trillion in the Social Security trust fund.  Our elected bandits stole all the Social Security taxes collected over the years and spent it on who knows what.  The Congressional Budget Office recently stated that Social Security will pay out $45 billion more this year than what it takes in.  Deficits such as this are projected until Social Security rolls over and goes completely belly-up 25 years from now.

Social Security Is in Far Worse Shape Than You Think.  For years, politicians and policymakers have reassured the American public that the Social Security system, which sends monthly checks out to 53 million beneficiaries, is safely solvent — and will be for decades to come.  But federal spending and income data from the Treasury Department reveal that the Social Security program is already deep in the red, with outlays exceeding payroll tax revenues by $76 billion in 2010 alone.

Running the government on 8¢:  Today, the United States spends roughly 76 cents of every federal tax dollar on just four things:  Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and interest on the $14 trillion debt.  That leaves 24 cents of revenue to pay for everything else the federal government does.

Social Security Data Center Approaching Collapse.  An inspector general finds agency operations at high risk due to delays in upgrading its critical infrastructure and software.

The Chilean Model.  Nearly 30 years ago, on the very day Ronald Reagan was sworn in as U.S. president, Chile became the first nation to privatize its social security system.  Three decades hence, it has surpassed all expectations.

U.S. House Should Repeal Social Security Along with ObamaCare.  To the best of my recollection, I never agreed to purchase retirement insurance, AKA, Social Security.  Rather, it was mandated by a fascist government that I purchase it. ... In turn, the Social Security scam has spawned the Medicare Ponzi Scheme which, although it is not required, is another non-sustainable program administered by dim wits too stupid to survive in the real world.

Here's a tool that could untrack the third rail.  Neither the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party has ever shown much desire to address the problem of ever-increasing government, in part because they would pay a political penalty if they did.  Certain big-ticket programs still retain considerable support from people who have no idea of their costs.  That's especially true of those out-of-control "entitlement" programs, Social Security and Medicare.  The challenge now is to help the American people understand that their future — and that of their children and grandchildren — depends upon their willingness to rein in these beloved programs which the nation simply cannot afford.

Fixing Social Security.  [Scroll down slowly]  My real hypothesis is that government is broken.  The Democrats of 2010 could not even write a budget at all.  That is one of Congress's few defined tasks, and the Democrats blew it off.  No one will even try to fix Social Security, one of the bigger problems we have, but with one of the easiest solutions.  It was a third rail, it is a third rail, and it will remain a third rail until, oh, 2039.

Social Security: The New Class Struggle.  Social Security has taken on the all the dimensions of a class struggle between the "haves" and the "have-nots."  In this case, the young "have-nots" struggle against the power, wealth, and influence of the older "haves."  The Social Security struggle is between generations, but it is the older Americans who have the advantage.  It is the older Americans who have the money, the power and the influence.

The Envious Feminists.  People are emotional beings, often governed more by feelings than reason.  And this is never truer than with leftist people.  If you want to understand liberals, know that most of their ideology is simply a pseudo-intellectual justification for what feels right to them.  As for these feelings, the one stereotypically associated with the left is compassion, which supposedly manifests itself in mercy, charity, forgiveness, and temperance.  In reality, though, the feeling that far better characterizes the left is envy.

Social Security Bait and Switch.  Democrats are trying to keep control of Congress by scaring the wig off grandma with a phantom GOP plot against Social Security.  That is not news.  Social Security scare tactics have been regular campaign themes since FDR.  President Obama's unique contribution is to do this even as he's begging Republicans to help him reduce the deficit and reform entitlement spending.

Obama:  Social Security 'is not in crisis'.  President Obama said Social Security is not in crisis and only modest changes are needed to keep it solvent.

The Crisis President Finds No Issues with Social Security.  President Obama, if nothing else, is a prolific discoverer of crises.  In the short space of nineteen months, we have had a health care crisis, economic crisis, swine flu crisis, housing crisis, banking crisis, auto industry crisis, financial regulatory crisis, global warming climate change crisis, Gulf oil spill crisis, mortgage crisis, deep-water drilling crisis, teacher layoff crisis, and of course, the lack-of-freshly-paved-roads crisis, aptly addressed by the Stimulus bill. ... But the president assures us that "Social Security is not in crisis," thus guaranteeing that the situation will worsen at least as long as he occupies the Oval Office.

Believe It or Not, the U.S. Is In Worse Financial Shape Than Greece.  In Ohio on Wednesday [8/18/2010] President Obama announced that Social Security "is not in crisis" and that only "modest adjustments" are required.  He has long promised that his health care plan will not add "one dime" to the deficit.  Yet, a new report from the International Monetary Fund concludes that, long-term, our government is in worse financial shape than Greece, and that this problem is driven in large part by both programs, particularly the new health care plan.

What Would it Take to Cut Government Spending?  Runaway federal spending isn't likely to be brought under control as long as the major entitlements — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — remain out of control.  The number of entitlement beneficiaries is growing faster than the number of taxpayers, entitlements account for more than half of federal spending, and unfunded liabilities (obligations not covered by payroll taxes) exceed $100 trillion.

Demogoguing Social Security.  The Democrats must know they're in trouble:  they've turned to one of their hoariest dodges, demagoguing Social Security.  In his weekly radio address yesterday [8/14/2010], Barack Obama accused Republicans of scheming to ruin the program.

Obama Demagogues Private Enterprise.  Many Americans fear privatizing anything they've come to view as government work.  They object to privately managed roads, independent charter schools, private prisons, etc., despite private companies' repeated success at providing better service while lowering costs.  Private retirement accounts seem particularly threatening.

Opposing view on retirement income:  Let's upend Social Security.  The nation's largest entitlement program is officially in the red.  This year, Social Security has paid out more than it receives in payroll taxes.  The Congressional Budget Office predicts that by 2039, the system won't be able to pay retirees their "guaranteed" share of Social Security benefits that they paid into the system without massive tax increases or benefits cuts.  In less than 20 years, just two workers will be forced to pay the benefits of every one retiree.

What Handouts To Cut.  Because of failure to heed the limitations of the U.S. Constitution, which has produced runaway federal spending, our nation sits on the precipice of disaster.  Former Senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming and Erskine Bowles, White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton, co-chairmen of President Obama's debt and deficit commission, in a Washington Post article "Obama's Debt Commission Warns of Fiscal 'Cancer'" (July 12, 2010) said that "(A)t present, federal revenue is fully consumed by three programs:  Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Are Overdue Reports Concealing ObamaCare Impact On Medicare?.  Every year, the Annual Report of the Social Security Board of Trustees comes out between mid-April and mid-May.  Now it's July, and there's no sign of this year's report.  What is the Obama administration hiding?

Three little pigs:  How entitlements will destroy us.  Our national debt recently topped the $13 trillion mark.  That amounts to nearly 90% of this country's GDP; $72,000 in debt for every household in America.  And that's the good news.  In the next few years, our major entitlement programs, in particular Social Security and Medicare, will begin to run cash-flow deficits, adding hundreds of billions each year to the debt.  In fact, Social Security's total unfunded liabilities top $15.8 trillion, and depending on what accounting measure is used, Medicare's future shortfall could exceed $100 trillion.

Social Security cash flow suddenly negative.  Social Security tax receipts for the first half of 2010:  $346.9 billion; Social Security benefits payments for the same period:  $347.3 billion.  Before this year, projections have always been that Social Security wouldn't cross that line into negative cash flow for five years or so.  Now it's a reality.  Congress has been spending Social Security's positive cash flow for years.  Now there's no positive cash flow to spend.

Work A Little Longer.  The administration has delayed release of the 2010 Social Security and Medicare Trustees report, possibly to hide its gloomy forecast of U.S. finances.  Meanwhile, clear thinkers are offering solutions.

Dems Worrying Liberals With Talk of Entitlement Reform.   [Scroll down]  Former SEIU head and now member of the Deficit Commission Andy Stern last week suggested, to very little fanfare, that the government should invest Social Security funds in Wall Street to increase returns on them.  My, it wasn't long ago that that sort of comment could get the whole of the Democratic caucus decrying your "risky scheme" to rob the Greatest Generation of their benefits.

Social Security benefits targeted in deficit meetings, activists warn.  One of the oddest Web posts making the rounds is a series of blurry videos from Capitol Hill showing people coming and going from a closed-door meeting of President Barack Obama's new deficit commission.  The mundane scenes have a sinister cast for activists who say the commission is at work on a secret plan to gut Social Security.

The Failure of the Unfree Market.  If you had believed in the 72-Year Rule, you would have seen this coming.  The 72-Year Rule says the lifetime of any social order or governing paradigm is about 72 years.  For example, how long was it from the adoption of our original Constitution (1789), which sanctioned slavery, to the Civil War (1861)?  Call it 72 years.  And from then until the New Deal in 1933?  Another 72 years.  How about from the Bolshevik Revolution (1917) to the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989)?  That would be 72 years again.  Do you know when the first Social Security check was issued?  January 31, 1940.  If my guess is right, Social Security has maybe two more years left.

Let It Burn.  If Republicans take control of the House and Senate, and if they repeal the health care bill, then they will not be able (or likely even try) to reform Medicare or Social Security.  These programs alone will bankrupt our nation.  Yet they are untouchable because a large number of Americans have come to depend upon these benefits.  They have become unknowingly hooked.

Contrary To Amnesty Supporters, Illegal Aliens Drain Social Security.  A recent Rasmussen Reports survey revealed that voters remain concerned about Social Security and whether the system can deliver what the government has promised.  According to the survey, 58% of U.S. voters lack confidence that the Social Security system will pay them their future benefits.  Advocates for amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants like to claim that amnesty will "save" Social Security.  They also claim that dramatically increased immigration levels will safeguard our retirements and those of our children because more people will pay into the system.  Unfortunately, the opposite is true.

Spike in disability claims clogs overloaded system.  The Social Security system is so overwhelmed by applications for disability benefits that many people are waiting more than two years for their first payment.

Social Security's Straightforward Math.  Compared to health care, Social Security is a straightforward issue.  All working Americans pay Social Security taxes.  Though technically employers and employees split the burden, most people recognize that Social Security consumes 12.4 percent of their total compensation, because the deduction is visible on their paychecks.

Welcome to the Long Run.  [Almost] no one is pushing real Medicare reform or any entitlement reform at all.  If anything, politicians simply want to add more stuff to them.  Let's be clear.  The real causes were not those listed by [Joel] Achenbach.  The real causes were the great "accomplishments" of the New Deal and the Great Society:  Social Security and Medicare.  They were Ponzi schemes, budget time bombs.  The short run is over and I hope you all had a good time, because the long run is here and now.

A country of 'third rails'.  Since the inception of Social Security, there has been an unspoken rule in politics:  When campaigning for national office or running for re-election, a candidate could never pledge to touch, cut spending for, dismantle, or otherwise look crossways at Social Security unless it was to raise the payouts to its recipients.  Social Security has always been referred to as the "third rail" in politics. You simply never touch it.  It would now appear that the US is riddled with a plethora of untouchable third rails and holy grails.

A house divided, again.  Now we enter our history's second stage in the struggle against the abomination of socialism.  Just as slavery had been contained in the South, so entitlement socialism has, until this week, been more or less contained in service to only the poor and the elderly.  And even those programs — Medicare and Social Security — rested on the principle of beneficiaries paying monthly premiums for the benefits they will get later.  Only the poor under Medicaid received benefit without premium payment.

ObamaCare and American Power:  The United States currently spends roughly as much on defense ($661 billion in fiscal year 2009) as the rest of the world combined.  But that's a pittance compared to what we spend on three major entitlement programs — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Entitlement Rip-Off.  Bernie Madoff took money from people who thought he'd invested it, gave some to others who thought it was a partial return on their earlier investments and kept much for himself.  That's called a Ponzi scheme, and his $50 billion fraud was called the biggest ever.  But it wasn't the biggest.  Social Security and Medicare are much bigger ones.  These are trillion-dollar scams.  Medicare has a $36 trillion unfunded liability.  Social Security's is $8 trillion.  There's no money to keep those promises.  But Congress isn't investigating this scam.  Congress runs it.

Social Security IOUs stashed away.  The retirement nest egg of an entire generation is stashed away in this small town along the Ohio River:  $2.5 trillion in IOUs from the federal government, payable to the Social Security Administration.

Facts on the Social Security:  This year for the first time in recent history, the federal government will have to use general revenue to pay Social Security and Medicare benefits — about $45 billion, or 3.6 percent of federal income taxes.  The general revenue requirement as a share of income taxes will double in less than five years; and five years beyond that, it will double again.

Third-Rail Shocker.  While a massive health care entitlement is fashioned in secret, another one, Social Security, is running deficits decades earlier than expected.  We've been kicking the can down the road.  We're out of road.

5 Ugly Truths Americans Will Have to Face.  [#1]  Entitlements must be cut.  By 2030, the Congressional Budget Office is estimating that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will make up 75% of our budget spending.  In other words, unless we get a handle on entitlement spending, it will be impossible to get our deficits under control.

The Land of Entitlements.  [Scroll down]  To put this in context, one must realize that there are no Medicare recipients alive today who have firsthand knowledge of being without Medicare while elderly.  Some may remember their parents or grandparents surviving well into old age without Medicare, but not themselves.  Very few alive today remember a time without Social Security. Within the space of a human lifespan, our society has become a culture conditioned to accept (and expect) entitlements as the norm without questioning the consequences.  It has been a very effective strategy to enlarge government.

Federal Spending:  With the entitlement programs Medicaid, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and discretionary spending levels set to consume increasing shares of national income, a challenge of unprecedented proportions looms large for Congress and the president.  Federal revenues are expected to consume 19 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2009, which constitutes a high by historical standards.

Social Security Reform Cooking Again.  Historic change sometimes comes from unlikely sources.  A famous example was long time anti-Communist Richard Nixon breaking the diplomatic ice with Red China.  One that came close was in 1998 when President Clinton carefully studied reforming Social Security with personal retirement accounts along the lines that President George W. Bush proposed a few years later.

Clueless in Washington.  [Scroll down]  In the medium term there are only two ways to bring the deficit back to a sustainable level — which means no more than 3% of GDP.  Either taxes will have to rise, or a serious attempt must be made to rein in the entitlements — legally mandated programmes such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — that constitute the great bulk of spending.

Court clears suit to affirm voluntary Medicare, Social Security.  A federal judge has cleared the way for consideration of a class-action lawsuit in which plaintiffs — including former House Majority Leader Dick Armey — are asking for a ruling upholding an existing law that declares participation in Medicare and Social Security to be voluntary, not compulsory.

Obama's $250 Bonus Turns Social Security into Welfare.  Since Social Security recipients will get no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) next year, President Obama wants to give each of them $250, a move supported in principle by the Republican House and Senate leadership.  However, this move is not only unjustified; it makes a fundamental change to Social Security's structure and starts the process of converting the program from an earned benefit funded by a worker's own contributions to a welfare program.

A White House Power Grab that Congress and America Doesn't See.  To achieve the goal of a universal, single-payer health system, the White House must secure the power it needs by amending the Social Security Act to transfer pivotal controls from Congress to the executive branch.  This transfer of power would ultimately give the President and the majority party, in this case the radical left Obama White House and Pelosi-Reid led progressive Democrats, the authority to frame and manipulate new policy, coverage options, and reimbursements, ultimately reshaping the future US health care system into a something unrecognizable in this country.

Social Security and Medicare Projections: 2009.  The 2009 Social Security and Medicare Trustees Reports show the combined unfunded liability of these two programs has reached nearly $107 trillion in today's dollars!  That is about seven times the size of the U.S. economy and 10 times the size of the outstanding national debt.

All Falling Down...  [Scroll down]  In the late 1930s our grandparents thought tiny sums from social security were lavish godsends, now we assume a temporary suspension in cost-of-living increases on top of generous pay-outs is nothing short of a national disaster and proof of our collective selfishness.

Social Security's Wheel of Fortune.  As millions more Americans become eligible, future and current beneficiaries are left wondering:  Just how safe is my Social Security check?  America's safety net has been projecting long-term deficits for years, and it's no secret that legions of retiring baby boomers will one day exhaust Social Security's financial surplus.

The gathering storm on Social Security and Medicare.  Earlier this week, the trustees for Social Security and Medicare issued their latest annual report warning of the impending financial catastrophe when the federal government must pay out more in benefits it has promised under the two entitlements than it collects in taxes to pay for the programs.  Medicare ran out of cash to pay for hospital benefits last year and now these costs are covered by the U.S. Treasury.  By 2017, according to the trustees, Medicare will have exhausted all of its trust funds.

Social Security strained by early retirements.  Big job losses and a spike in early retirement claims from laid-off seniors will force Social Security to pay out more in benefits than it collects in taxes the next two years, the first time that's happened since the 1980s.

Obama's Health Care Promises Ring Hollow.  Past government programs designed to be self-sustaining in the long run simply haven't lived up to lawmakers' expectations.  Social Security amendments passed in 1983 mandate that the program be fiscally solvent for the next 75 years.  A recent report released last month by the Social Security Administration claims the solvency of the program will last through 2037, 21 years shorter than expected.  Many experts believe this estimate is grossly optimistic.

Rediscovering the 10th Amendment — Too Little, Too Late.  In describing the constant blatant assault on the Constitution, one hardly knows where to start.  The federal government runs Social Security, a 50-state Ponzi scheme that makes Bernie Madoff look like an underachiever.

A Scheme With No Off Button.  Ever wonder why the New York Times can report on a Ponzi scheme in the private sector and be totally oblivious to the Ponzi scheme that the U.S. Government has been running right under the Gray Lady's nose for seventy-five years?  This hustle is called "Social Security."

The National Ponzi Scheme.  A Ponzi scheme does not generate any wealth whatsoever; that is why it ultimately collapses. ... We have a national Ponzi scheme where Congress collects about $785 billion in Social Security taxes from about 163 million workers to send out $585 billion to 50 million Social Security recipients.  Social Security's trustees tell us that the surplus goes into a $2.2 trillion trust fund to meet future obligations.  The problem is whatever difference between Social Security taxes and benefits paid out is spent by Congress.

Is Social Security a Ponzi Scheme?  A "Ponzi-like" scheme has three characteristics -- transfers, obscurity, and unsustainability.  [#1] Transfer:  Early participants are paid off by the investments of later participants.  [#2] Obscurity:  The true nature of the scheme is obscured, so that it looks like early participants are receiving a return on their investments, rather than payments from later participants.  [#3] Unsustainability:  The scheme is guaranteed to eventually break down, once the number of participatns rises high enough.

Deception is the Root Cause of America's Ills.  Mike Whalen, former policy chairman of the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis, commenting on last year's Social Security Trustees annual report on the state of the Social Security and Medicare programs, said, "The report on the state of entitlement programs is rather grim — the combined unfunded liabilities of both programs are $101 trillion."  What that means is that in order for government to make good on its promises, Congress would have to put aside tens of trillions of dollars in the bank today.  Keep in mind that our GDP is only $14 trillion.

Social Security Sham.  Keep in mind, pretensions to the contrary, Social Security is not insurance, where premiums are invested.  With Social Security, politicians spend today's so-called contributions as quickly as they can get their hands on the money.  Crises breed big government, and big government is primarily concerned with saving itself.

Social Security is the largest Ponzi scheme.  The U.S. and international media have been following the story of Bernard Madoff and his "giant Ponzi scheme," as the Wall Street Journal called it, which may have cheated unsuspecting investors out of tens of billions of dollars. ... But is this — as it is being touted — the largest Ponzi scheme in history?  No.  That honor goes to a Depression-era creation of the U.S. government itself:  the Social Security system.

Congress' Ponzi scheme.  [Scroll down] Charles Ponzi gave his name to this kind of scam in the 1920s when he was caught paying off old investors with funds deposited by new ones.  The last time we heard the term "giant Ponzi scheme" was during the debates about "saving Social Security."  Advocates of the current system dismiss the phrase as a slur.  But the essence of Social Security is paying past investors from current investments.

We Can't Tax Our Way Out of the Entitlement Crisis.  The spending shortfalls in Social Security and Medicare are large.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, Social Security and Medicare spending left unchecked would, after a generation, consume about 10 percentage points more of GDP than it does today.

An eighth of every paycheck.  You Don't have to be a financial wizard to know that Social Security is a lousy investment.  Unlike the money you deposit in a bank or salt away in an IRA, you don't own the money you pay into Social Security.  You have no legal right to get those dollars back, and when you die you can't pass them on to your heirs.  Nor can you use your Social Security account before you retire — you can't borrow against it and you can't cash it in.  You aren't allowed to put the money into a balanced portfolio.  You can't even watch as the interest accumulates, since your Social Security nest egg doesn't earn any interest.

You Have NO Right to Social Security.  Various congresses and presidents have raised Social Security taxes at least 40 times since the program commenced in 1935.  Also, the retirement age currently is creeping toward 67.  Such steps deprive Americans of their retirement assets.  None of this should be surprising.  Social Security funds do not belong to individual workers and entrepreneurs.  This money is the property of Washington politicians and they may do with it whatever they please.

Social (In)security:  [Scroll down] As if teleprompted on cue, [Obama] said that McCain embraces "George Bush's failed privatization scheme."  And with those comments, honesty left the building.  Bush's Social Security privatization plan is not a failed policy.  It cannot be "failed" because it has never been tried, with the exception of three Texas counties where private systems are flourishing.

Fooling Ourselves into Entitlements.  In 1935, when Congress enacted Social Security, protracted retirement was a luxury enjoyed by a tiny sliver of the population.  Back then, Congress did its arithmetic ruthlessly:  When it set the retirement age at 65, the life expectancy of an adult American male was 65.  If in 1935 Congress had indexed the retirement age to life expectancy, today's retirement age would be 75.

The Entitlement Mess.  Congress is spending us into a hole.  We hear about the cost of earmarks and the Iraq war.  But what about "entitlements"?  That's the government's ironic term for programs that transfer money from people who earned it to people who didn't.  Entitlement?  How can you be entitled to someone else's money?  To finance "entitlement" programs, the government threatens force against the taxpayers who provide the money.

An Open Letter to Black Obama Supporters.  In two previous notably liberal administrations, socialist ideas were entertained:  Bloat government to its largest degree and cause people to become dependent upon it for their livelihood.  Under Franklin Delano Roosevelt the longest lasting experiment with Socialism was instituted.  Social Security has now become what people think of as a stream of money flowing from the government.  Perhaps in Urban America you know a number of people who get Social Security benefits who aren't even retired (which is what it was originally intended for) or disabled, or even in legitimate need of it.  Every check of Social Security that goes to an undeserving recipient plunges Black America into deeper poverty.

Social Security's running out of time.  Forget all the talk you'll hear about how Social Security is okay until 2040 or thereabouts.  That is, as we'll soon see, utter nonsense.  The real problem starts only a decade or so from now, when Social Security begins to take in less cash than it spends.  How can I say that, given Social Security's $2.3 trillion (and growing) trust fund?  It's because the fund owns nothing but Treasury securities.  Normally, of course, Treasury securities are the safest thing you can hold in a retirement account.  But Social Security's Treasuries won't help cover the program's cash shortfall, because Social Security is part of the federal government.

Distrust Fund:  It's almost a D.C. truism that anytime Congress creates a "trust fund" for a certain policy issue, the money flowing into the fund will be diverted to something else.  Government trust funds are set up with special taxes and fees so that they will be less subject to normal budget constraints.  That makes them desirable for future Congresses to divert their proceeds to spend on pork.  Payroll tax money in the Social Security Trust Fund has for decades been emptied out to fund general government programs.

New warnings about entitlements shortfall.  Trustees for the government's two biggest benefit programs warned Tuesday [3/25/2008] that Social Security and Medicare are facing "enormous challenges," with the threat to Medicare's solvency far more severe.  The trustees, issuing a once-a-year analysis, said the resources in the Social Security trust fund will be depleted by 2041.  The reserves in the Medicare trust fund that pays hospital benefits were projected to be wiped out by 2019.

Social Security is in Trouble.  People are living longer and collecting more Social Security benefit checks.  In 1940, life expectancy was 61.4 for men and 65.7 for women.  By 2000, life expectancy was 74.2 years for men and 79.5 for women; by 2050, life expectancy will be 84 years for men and 87.5 for women.

$45 trillion gap seen in US benefits.  The government is promising $45 trillion more than it can deliver on Social Security, Medicare and other benefit programs.  That is the gap between the promises the government has made in benefits and the projected revenue stream for these programs over the next 75 years, the Bush administration estimated Monday [12/17/2007].

The Late Great Social Security System:  When Social Security was set up, its supporters pooh-poohed critics who warned that by not investing the collected funds, the government was setting up a major fiasco.  The pooh-poohers were wrong, of course; the skeptics, right.  Now, all those baby boomers whose FICA withholding kept the system afloat for years will begin to drain funds.  Soon, the money going to retirees will far exceed money coming in.  Hence the crisis.

The retirement "monster":  Taxpayers owe more than a half-million dollars per household for financial promises made by government, mostly to cover the cost of retirement benefits for baby boomers, a USA Today analysis shows.

Social Security:  A Tale of Two Problems.  The first problem is that the federal government collects more — a lot more — contributions to Social Security than what it needs to pay the current retirees.  The excess contributions are spent on other government programs and not really saved to pay for the retirement of the workers who are making the contributions.  All the surplus paid into Social Security over the past 20 years has already been spent.

Social Insecurity:  America's Social Security system is a ticking time bomb.  It is not a stable system and provides young workers with negative returns.  Reform is needed now to ensure the future of the system and the financial security of younger generations.  In 2017, Social Security will start to owe more money than it takes in.  The support base for the system is shrinking, as Americans live longer and have fewer children.

Rethinking Social Insurance:  The single greatest threat to the fiscal health of the United States is the runaway growth of the nation's major retirement and health care entitlement programs.  Social Security and Medicare are projected to grow from 7.5 percent of GDP today to almost 13 percent of GDP by 2030.  Already, the two programs consume over a third of the federal budget.

How Much Do Americans Depend on Social Security?  Many low-income workers depend almost entirely on Social Security for their retirement income, but it is often assumed that high-wage workers can maintain their standard of living without Social Security benefits due to their private pensions and savings.  Surprisingly, however, even high-wage workers depend on Social Security for a substantial portion of their retirement income and would significantly change their consumption and saving behavior in the absence of Social Security.

Social Security and Medicare Are Unsustainable.  In 2011, the first group of baby boomers in the United States will reach the age of 65.  When the last of that generation retires in 2032, 77 million of them will have ceased working and paying taxes and will have at least begun receiving taxpayer-funded health care and pension benefits.  A similar trend is occurring throughout the developed world.  In Japan, Europe, and North America, the number of retirees will double over the next 25 years while the number of taxpayers will grow only 10 percent.  The economic consequences of these changes are dire:  higher taxes, slower growth, and lower living standards.

Social Security — It Is Time To End It.  Regardless of what we as a nation do, social security is a system that is broken beyond repair.  There is really nothing we can do to "fix" it.  The time has come to dismantle it and return the responsibility of planning for ones retirement back to the individual.  Those who do not plan accordingly should expect to be cared for and provided for by their family as has been the norm for most of the history of this nation and of the world.

Krugman vs. Krugman.  In liberal Democratic circles, the debate over Social Security has taken a dangerous "don't worry, be happy" turn.  The argument has two equally dishonest components.  The first is to deny that Social Security faces a daunting financing problem … The second is to mischaracterize the arguments of those who advocate responsible action, accusing them of hyping the system's woes.

Direct deposit of Social Security checks:  safe, fast — and disastrous.  As the federal agencies begin another push for recipients to accept their Social Security checks by direct deposit, consumer advocates point to a little-known risk of using the system:  Recipients who have judgments against them are vulnerable to losing access to their money.  The problem, advocates say, isn't the direct-deposit system, but the failure of banks to implement safeguards to protect accounts with exempt funds from being frozen.

The Coming Financial Collapse of Social Security.  The first officially recognized financial collapse of Social Security occurred in 1977.  Government projections at that time showed, and everyone agreed, that without major changes Social Security would be unable to pay all of its promised benefits within a couple of years, with a yawning, continually growing deficit after that time.

Social Security bankruptcy is the real inconvenient truth.  By 2017, Social Security tax revenues will be less than promised benefits, and a government system that millions of Americans depend on will become bankrupt. ... The solution to Social Security's problems is to acknowledge the program's inherent flaws and to shift from a government-run welfare program to a system of personal ownership.  Specifically, allow people to divert a portion of the money they pay in Social Security taxes into an account they own, control, and for which they take responsibility.

Liberal Pyromaniacs:  Liberals behave like a pyromaniac who sets fire to his own house, then is angered because the rest of the family try to salvage their possessions and escape from the blaze.  Like the pyromaniac, liberals feed the destructive flames of inflation with deficit spending on new welfare programs and the mandated monsters, Social Security and Medicare.  Then they become indignant when rational investors take steps to hedge against liberal-created inflation.

Hillary Clinton's memory loss:  Hillary Clinton once again asserted during the latest presidential debate that "the American people know where I've stood for 35 years."  Yet, she repeatedly refuses to tell us where she stands on Social Security reform.  And when she does, Mrs. Clinton misrepresents the condition of Social Security when she and her husband left the White House.

Clinton's Social Security fecklessness.  In words a more thoughtful Clinton likely would have avoided, the leading Democratic presidential contender told a cheering crowd of AARP policy wonks and political activists that when she's back in the White House, there won't be any talk about cutting or privatizing Social Security.  "This is the most successful domestic program in the history of the United States.  When I'm president, privatization is off the table because it's not the answer to anything," she said.  Also off the table will be any benefit cuts or increases in the retirement age.

The Slippery Social Security slope:  Most Republicans and Democrats, ideologists of all persuasions as well, accept that Social Security as presently structured is not sustainable.

Social Security to Become Key Issue.  Three years after the collapse of President Bush's plan for private Social Security accounts, Republican presidential contenders are eager to try again.  Not so the Democrats, who gravitate toward increasing payroll taxes on upper-income earners to fix the program's finances.

This is just brilliant.
Illegals granted Social Security.  The Senate voted yesterday [5/18/2006] to allow illegal aliens to collect Social Security benefits based on past illegal employment — even if the job was obtained through forged or stolen documents.

Social Security uncovers illegal workers.  Privacy concerns prevent the Social Security Administration from notifying an employer that a hired foreign national is not authorized to work in this country, including someone who may be a potential national security risk, says a government audit.

Stop the Mexico Raid on Our Social Security!  RetireSafe Delivers 115,000 Petitions Opposing Social Security for Illegal Immigrants from Mexico.  "Social Security is not a welfare program and it should not be turned into a foreign aid program," said RetireSafe President Charles Hardin.

Social Security scam keeps on ticking.  The Social Security Trustees issued their annual report earlier this month, and the program's fiscal outlook is even worse than estimated last year.  Yet, as predictably as May brings rain showers from Heaven and bloated supplemental spending bills from Congress, liberals in the media, the House and the Senate continue to deny that the Social Security program faces a fiscal crisis.

A Mass Delusion:  Personal accounts cannot solve Social Security's cash flow shortfalls, but they could help to eliminate the mass delusion about retirement security that the current program creates.

Your Social Security Number Is a Matter of National Security.  The federal government has enabled the widespread use of Social Security Numbers by promoting their use by agencies other than the Social Security Administration — the one agency that has truly legitimate uses for the number — and by failing to effectively regulate how the private sector uses the number.

Dallas ISD faulted for using fake Social Security numbers.  Years after being advised by a state agency to stop, the Dallas Independent School District continued to provide foreign citizens with fake Social Security numbers to get them on the payroll quickly.  Some of the numbers were real Social Security numbers already assigned to people elsewhere.  And in some cases, the state's educator certification office unknowingly used the bogus numbers to run criminal background checks on the new hires, most of whom were brought in to teach bilingual classes.

California Woman's Social Security Stolen by Suspected Illegal Immigrants.  Audra Schmierer's Social Security number really gets around.  It has been used by at least 81 people in 17 states, most of them probably illegal immigrants trying to get work.  The federal government took years to discover the number was being used illegally, but authorities took little action even then.

Did someone mention crimes committed by illegal aliens?

Man Denies Trying to Help Terrorists.  A former graduate student testified Friday [6/16/2006] he used a fake Social Security number to obtain credit cards but denied accusations that he tried to help terrorists.  A naturalized U.S. citizen born in the West Bank, Arwah Jaber said he was "trying to survive" and did not believe at the time that it was against the law to provide false information on credit card applications.

[Nonsense.  How many of you believe that a 34-year-old man with a PhD did not know it was illegal to put false information on credit card application?]

Getting rid of reckless spending.  We are less than one generation away from Congress being unable to pay for anything other than Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and interest on the federal debt — leaving not so much as a penny for defense or homeland security.

Social Security is at the roots of the shift.  Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid had a decision to make.  President Bush was starting his second term with a brash challenge to a sacred Democratic program — Social Security — and the House and Senate Democratic leaders needed a coordinated response, and fast.

The dried-up veto pen:  Pork barrel projects — even tens of billions of dollars of them — are not what have dug us into a fiscal hole.  It is the rapidly escalating cost of entitlement programs.  President Bush is well aware of the problems in this area.  He eloquently explained the deteriorating fiscal condition of Social Security in many speeches this year, as part of his effort to reform that program and stabilize its finances for future generations.

Five Ways to Fix Social Security:  Anyone who knows anything about Social Security knows it is an intergenerational income transfer program.  The transfer is from the young to the old.  This sort of Ponzi scheme works only if the number of those paying increases at a faster pace than the number of those receiving.  Given the slowing of population growth in the United States, the Ponzi scheme cannot survive.

Something for nothing:  Many of us who receive money from Social Security or other government programs are learning the hard way the difference between money with strings and money without strings.  For example, Social Security recipients have to be enrolled in Medicare, whether they want to be or not.  "Universal" coverage means compulsory coverage, just with prettier political spin.

Reforming Social Security.  The canard propagated by Democrats and enabled by spineless Republicans is that any GOP reform would rob benefits from today's seniors.  The Democrats' alternative?  Why, they have none….

Medicare and Social Security:  Big Entitlement Costs on the Horizon.  Today, 6.9 percent of federal income taxes go towards the two programs.  Dr. Thomas Saving of Texas A&M University, a public trustee of the Medicare and Social Security trust funds, estimates that, in 2020, 26.6 percent of all federal income taxes will go to paying for Medicare and Social Security.  By 2030, that number will increase to 49.7 percent.

Entitlement programs threaten western economies.  A column in the Wall Street Journal makes the sensible observation that... "unless we can exploit the dramatic demographic and economic changes that are before us, our future will be much poorer.  Instead of stepping into an easy retirement, many retirees will tumble into a future marked by bankrupt government social programs and declining asset values that will quickly deplete their cherished nest eggs.  This forecast is not based on an unpredictable future, but on events that have already transpired."

30 nations' lessons for Social Security reform.  Britain, Chile and many others have virtually no unfunded liability because they reformed their pay-as-you-go Social Security systems with personal retirement accounts.

Social Security's Second Career:  When Social Security was created in 1935, the retirement age was set above the average male life expectancy.  It was designed so the average man would never collect any Social Security benefits, which were intended only to help those who "outlived" their savings. Luckily, that's changed.  People live longer, and future generations can expect to do even better.  But that means ever more retirees depending on ever fewer workers.  There were 42 workers for each retiree in 1945.  Today there are only 3.3.  And by 2025, the ratio will drop to about two workers per retiree.

Allow People To Invest Their Social Security Funds.  Our Social Security System is truly a pay-as-you-go system, as the assets in the so-called Social Security Trust Fund cover only a tiny percent of existing obligations.  As the number of retirees rises relative to the number of workers as our population grows older, it will be impossible to pay existing benefit levels with the current level of Social Security taxes in another generation or so.  Young people recognize this:  surveys show that most do not expect to receive significant return on their Social Security tax payments when they reach retirement age.

Social Security "Trust Fund":  The so-called social security trust fund exists only as a legal technicality, not as an economic reality.

Trust Fund?  What Trust Fund?  The Social Security Trust Fund resides within the H.J. Hintgen Building in Parkersburg, West Virginia near the Ohio River.  The Trust Fund is stored inside the locked bottom drawer of a gray filing cabinet controlled by employees of the U.S. Bureau of Public Debt.  That drawer contains $1.76 trillion worth of Special Issue U.S. Treasury Bonds.  Each of these, 225 pieces of paper in all, is contained in one of two white, loose-leaf notebooks that hold plastic page covers.  Despite the protective plastic, these certificates have no more financial value than the ink with which they are printed.

Social Security in Crisis.  Medicare and Social Security's combined unfunded liability is seven times the size of our economy.  The "Social Security Trust Fund" is essentially an IOU from the federal government.  As such, from the taxpayers' perspective, the Trust Fund is nonexistent.

Your papers please….  Each American already has a national ID card — it's called a Social Security card.  The use of Social Security numbers for identification purposes was somewhat limited until 1962, when the Internal Revenue Service co-opted it for official taxpayer identification.  Ten years later, the notice "For Social Security Purposes — Not For Identification" was removed from Social Security cards.  Currently, SSNs are the most frequently used identifier in the U.S.  They're required for credit and banking relations, employee files, academic records, licenses and certifications, medical records and health-insurance accounts, passports, and phone and utility accounts.

Social Security Numbers and Privacy:  Many people have questions regarding social security and privacy.  Keeping one's identity safe is a pressing issue in today's fast-paced, technologically-evolved environment.  Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure your social security information stays safe.

Social Security number code cracked, study claims.  For people born after 1988 — when the government began issuing numbers at birth — the researchers were able to identify, in a single attempt, the first five Social Security digits for 44 percent of individuals.  And they got all nine digits for 8.5 percent of those people in fewer than 1,000 attempts.  For smaller states their accuracy was considerably higher than in larger ones.

No, You Can't Have My Social Security Number.  Social Security numbers were never designed to be secure.  When SSNs came into existence 75 years ago, they had one and only one purpose:  to keep track of contributions to the federal pension system. ... Ten years after the SSN debuted, the feds added a clarification to the card in capital letters:  "FOR SOCIAL SECURITY PURPOSES — NOT FOR IDENTIFICATION."  By that point, it was already too late.

Immigration reform could lead to biometric Social Security card.  Two U.S. senators prominent in immigration reform efforts have proposed that all Americans be issued biometric Social Security cards, containing data from either a fingerprint or retinal scan to help employers determine whether the holder is legal.  In explaining the only current bipartisan reform proposal, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., has called such a high-tech Social Security card "a linchpin" in efforts to win support in Congress for fixing an immigration enforcement system that many agree is broken.

You might as well ask for a new set of fingerprints.
Social Security Denies ID Theft Victim New Number.  A 23-year-old Brighton man has been fighting five years to replace a Social Security number that has been fraudulently used by a suspected illegal immigrant since 2003, according to police and state tax officials.  The Social Security Administration has twice denied his request for a new number, saying his credit has not been damaged by the identify thief...

Biometrics Pinned to Social Security Cards.  The Social Security card faces its first major upgrade in 70 years under two immigration-reform proposals slated for debate this week that would add biometric information to the card and finally complete its slow metamorphosis into a national ID.

SSN-as-ID under scrutiny — again.  It has been known for years … just how dysfunctional the practice is of trying to authenticate people through basic information such as residential address and SSN.

Immigrants are stealing U.S. Social Security numbers for jobs, not profits.  Camber Lybbert thought it was a mistake when her bank told her that her daughter's Social Security number, issued by the U.S. government, was on their files for two credit cards and two auto loans, with an outstanding balance of more than $25,000.  Her daughter is 3 years old.

There Are No "Transition Costs" for Social Security Reform.  Allowing workers to invest a portion of their Social Security taxes through personal retirement accounts will incur no net cost to the federal government.

A Risk Worth Taking.  There's no point in having a conservative Congress if it's not going to work to enact conservative policies.  At some point lawmakers have to be willing to take political risks to do what's right.

All That Work for Nothing?  The system is exactly the inverse of what we've all been told to do in planning for our retirement.  Those who work hard and put money into the system early in life, get the same as those who start paying in later on.  And as a proportion of what they've paid in, the early-contributing ants actually get less than their grasshopper peers.

The Anti-Entitlement Revolution.  A famous 1994 poll sponsored by Third Millennium, a group that promotes awareness of national issues affecting post-Baby Boomers, reported that more adults 18 to 34-years-old believed UFOs exist (46 percent) than believed Social Security will exist when they retire (28 percent).  That was no fluke.

Social Security:  One Leg of a Three-Legged Stool.  While Social Security forms a foundation for retirement savings, Americans must also take advantage of corporate savings vehicles like 401(k)s and private savings.  The other two legs need our attention, too.

Retirement Savings Reforms on which the Left and the Right Can Agree.  People often make mistakes when it comes to investing for retirement:  Most Americans don't save enough, and even those who do save typically invest in inappropriate portfolios.

Social Security reform threatened by elitist liberals.  According to public record, one of every three members of the Senate and one out of every four members of the House are millionaires.  Despite popular stereotypes of Republicans as the party of the rich and Democrats as the party of the working class, the wealthiest member of the Senate (John Kerry of Massachusetts) and the wealthiest member of the House (Jane Harman of California) are both Democrats.  Of the top six wealthiest senators, five are Democrats.

Groups Attacking Personal Accounts Using "Rigged Calculator".  Factcheck.org raises serious questions about Left wing tactics in the Social Security debate.

AARP and the Social Security crisis:  AARP should be excoriated for enabling and creating the Social Security financial problems for which they now claim to have solutions.  Unfortunately, AARP's "solutions" are the very same bad policies that turned Social Security into a massive ticking debt bomb — tax increases, benefit cuts for millions of future retirees and continued spending of every cent of the Social Security Trust Fund.

The Ignorance Strategy:  The Democratic leadership in Congress has apparently adopted this ["ignorance is strength"] philosophy as a strategy to defeat the idea of optional personal retirement accounts to restructure our dysfunctional Social Security system.

Social Security's Inevitable Future:  Like a Roman Legion advancing against its enemy, Social Security's future problems approach slowly, but their arrival is inevitable.

Social Security Fact of the Day #28:  Social Security cannot afford to pay all of the benefits it has promised.  Beginning in 2017, it will run cash deficits that get bigger every year.

A two-percent tax increase will not save Social Security.  In order for the tax increase to work, the new tax revenues would have to be saved and not spent — a highly unlikely occurrence given the record in Washington over the last four decades.  [In addition,] the tax increase primarily helps the solvency of the trust fund on paper, rather than actual cash flow problems:  Social Security would still run an annual deficit by 2023, just 5 years later than under the current system.

Are people working under false identities at DOD?  The Office of the Inspector General of the Social Security Administration published an audit report revealing that Defense, plus the Coast Guard (which is a component of the Department of Homeland Security), filed nearly 6,400 W-2 forms between 1997 and 2002 that could not be matched to known taxpayers and thus had to be dumped into what SSA calls the Earnings Suspense File.

Noble Lies, Liberal Purposes, and Personal Retirement Accounts.  A frank look at the Social Security status quo reveals that the program is very poorly designed to realize liberal ideals. … The terms of the imaginary "compact between the generations" are manifestly unfair.  What is worse is that the Social Security status quo embodies a government-perpetuated deception designed to generate its own political support by misleading voters into believing that their payroll taxes entitle them to later benefits.

Web site:
Social Security dot org, produced by the Cato Institute Project on Social Security Choice.

Let's get real about Social Security and Medicare.  The Social Security and Medicare trustees have just issued their annual report on the state of these programs, and the picture is not pretty.  The combined unfunded liability, the shortfall of projected funds available to meet projected obligations, of the two programs is around $75 trillion.  For perspective, the Gross National Product is $10 trillion.

The Entitlement Panic.  Will America have to declare Chapter 11 because of $80 trillion in unfunded entitlement promises of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security?  Economist Laurence Kotlikoff believes the answer is perhaps yes unless we reform our fiscal institutions.

One company.  Every year, the Social Security Administration consigns up to 9 million hopelessly inaccurate W–2 reports to Social Security limbo.  It is called the Earnings Suspense File, and it is the final resting place of W–2s that cannot be matched to a known taxpayer.  One company filed 33,448 of these inaccurate W–2s in one year.

How Today's Social Security Works.  This paper explains what Social Security is and how it works.  The first section explains what Social Security is and which programs are and are not part of Social Security.  The second section explains the payroll taxes that mainly finance Social Security and how they are paid.  The third section explains what Social Security's trust funds are and are not.  The fourth and longest section discusses how Social Security benefits are calculated and who is eligible to receive them.  All of the information contained in this paper comes from Social Security Administration sources.

Straight Talk about the Social Security Trust Fund:  Most Americans – and many members of Congress – do not understand how Social Security works.  Like most government-sponsored retirement programs in the world today, our Social Security system is pay-as-you-go.  All payroll tax revenues are spent – the very minute, the very hour, the very day they are received by the U.S. Treasury.  Most of these revenues are spent on benefits for current retirees.  Any additional amount is spent in other ways.  But there is no funding of future benefits.  No money is being stashed away in bank vaults.  No investments are made in real assets.

A dose of realism is needed.  The Levi's I wear today won't fit me when I'm seventy, and we shouldn't expect a social insurance program designed for the 1930's to fit 21st century America.

Dirty little secrets.  There are three dirty little secrets congressional Democrats don't want you to know about Social Security.  First, Democrats want President Bush's proposed personal retirement accounts off the negotiation table because Congress has already spent your money.  That is because, in reality, there is no Social Security Trust Fund.

Questions and Answers About Personal Social Security Retirement Accounts:  The debate over Social Security reform has coalesced around the idea of personal retirement accounts.  PRAs are not risky and they will require no previous investment experience.

The AARP vs. reform:  Just whose money is it?  Liberals believe that all money collected by the government is therefore the government's money and does not belong to those that generate it.  Social Security isn't any different than the other line items in the budget.  This philosophy may make sense to the AARP and those that love to control the destinies of individuals, but it hardly makes sense to the rest of us.

Why is the NAACP against Social Security reform?  One hopes that the NAACP would see as its mission to seek every possible way to help build black wealth, to encourage black ownership and to strengthen black families.  Introducing personal retirement accounts would do every one of these things, yet the NAACP is opposed.  Why?

NOW is on the wrong side of the Social Security Debate.  The National Organization of Women (NOW) recently denounced President Bush's proposal to reform Social Security by giving workers the option of diverting a percentage of their taxes into personal retirement accounts.  In a statement on the issue, NOW President Kim Gandy makes more erroneous assertions than I can list in one article, but let's juxtapose some of her rhetoric with reality.

Rock the Victim mentality:  On the heels of the AARP, NOW, NAACP and other left-leaning groups' hysteria over Social Security reform and personal retirement accounts, the Rock the Vote campaign is latching on to the issue and misinforming a whole new generation.

Campaign Misinforms Young People on Social Security Reform.  Among Rock the Vote's top ten reasons that young people should oppose Social Security reform is that the current system is "retro chic," "politicians want to trick you" and "investments are a gamble."  Their number one reason — it's better to "visit your grandparents — at their house" because "before Social Security, for most families, all the generations lived under one roof."  This is how Rock the Vote views their constituency — a bunch of shallow, ditzy victims who don't want to live with their grandparents.

MTV Poll Masks Youth Views on Social Security.  In the political Odd Coupling of 2005, MTV's Rock the Vote has joined forces with AARP.  Their mission:  Block efforts to let young workers invest some of their Social Security taxes in personal retirement accounts.

Transforming moral problems into politics.  Listening to the case for transforming Social Security to a regime of personal ownership is simple and compelling.  The numbers no longer add up in our current system.  Personal accounts would allow ownership and wealth creation.  If we had to start from scratch, no one would want the system we now have.  If the case is so clear, why isn't it simple to change?

You're too stupid to manage your own money.  Former Democratic vice-presidential contender Geraldine Ferraro inadvertently revealed the real reason behind Democrats' resistance to the president's proposal of Social Security partial privatization.  "… [I]f you don't have the knowledge [emphasis added] and the wherewithal [emphasis added] to manage your own private funds," said Ferraro, "well, you know, you're gonna be out of luck."

The Social Security Crisis That Democrats Actually Did Claim Was A Crisis Before They Claimed It Wasn't A Crisis.  In an excellent article on the subject of Social Security reform titled, "The Innumeracy of it All!", the first paragraph of Donald Luskin's piece says it all.  "In the debate over Social Security reform, the dollar figures involved can be dauntingly large and dizzyingly complex.  That opens up a lot of opportunity for demagogic mischief, and the leftist opponents of reform are taking full advantage."  As a matter of fact, the Democrats who are out there assailing Social Security reform are going to an even greater extreme on this subject than on just about anything else they've ever set their sights on trying to destroy.

Here's What's Wrong with Social Security.  As 2005 begins, it's time to face facts.  Social Security stinks.  Government may owe a measure of protection to retirees, but this is a terrible way to provide it.  Social Security is an absurd anachronism — and most people under 50 know it and want something better.  By its 70th anniversary, the system must get the restructuring it desperately needs.  Begin with the obvious.  Social Security is a Ponzi scheme headed for collapse.

Social Insecurity?  The latest liberal spin on Social Security is that there is no problem.  Of course, there is no problem with any obligation if you are willing to welsh when it comes time to pay it.

Changing values:  The displacement of traditional values with the "do your own thing" agenda puts perspective on the problems with which we're now wrestling on Social Security and Medicare.  The conventional explanation for today's Social Security and Medicare problems is demographics.  Our population is "graying" as a result of longer lifespan and fewer babies.

Who's afraid of Social Security reform?  There is much opposition to President Bush's plans to reform Social Security and provide taxpayers with Personal Retirement Accounts (PRAs) that they actually own and can pass on to their heirs.  Why would anyone not want retirees to become more financially secure and receive more money than they would with the current Social Security payments?  Why would anyone not want to get political and bureaucratic control out of his or her life?

Social Security and Stock Market Risk:  Critics of personal accounts say the stock market is too risky for retirement savings.  They also claim workers will fare better with today's pay-as-you-go Social Security than with personal retirement accounts.  But they are wrong.

A Professor Gets Personal.  Well-known Princeton economics professor Burt Malkiel is providing meaningful, data-driven support of market-investing in personal savings accounts as part of Social Security reform.  His is a significant endorsement of the Bush plan at a time when critics are popping up all over the political map.

How to Save Social Security:  Social Security is currently running a surplus.  However, these days of plenty are in short supply.  In just 15 years, Social Security will pay out more than it collects in taxes.  In each following year, the deficit will grow larger.

Is the Stock Market Too Risky for Retirement?  Since the early days of Social Security, benefits have been financed by taxing workers' payroll.  From 1937 through 1949 wage income up to $3,000 was subject to tax at a rate of 2 percent.  The $60 maximum was all that was needed because there were many workers and few beneficiaries, a ratio of 16 to 1 in 1950. But over the last half-century the worker/beneficiary ratio has fallen because we're living longer and having fewer children; it is now just 3.4 to 1.

How Big Is the Government's Debt?  As of 2001, the accumulated entitlement obligations owed to all people (including all current workers) who have earned Social Security and Medicare benefits is $12.9 trillion for Social Security and $16.9 trillion for Medicare.  When these obligations are combined with the debt held by the public, the total burden equals $33.1 trillion, or 10 times the official debt measure.  This "total debt" is more than three times the size of the nation's total output in 2001, and amounts to $116,381 for every man, woman and child in America.

CBS Seeks To Discredit Social Security Reform.  Twenty-one hours after President Bush, in his State of the Union address, outlined his plan for Social Security, CBS News began its campaign to discredit it.  CBS's John Roberts made no pretense of balance and "reported" a story on Social Security reform skewed nearly entirely to the political left.

Democrats crunched by Social Security numbers.  Opening up the sacrosanct Social Security system to private investment in stocks and bonds has never been done before, and many Republicans are understandably skittish about whether it will work — and what it could do to them politically if it doesn't.

Shameless semantics.  Two major changes have occurred since those long-forgotten days when Democrats were identifying Social Security as a crisis that had to be fixed immediately:  The problem has gotten worse, and Democrats have proven they weren't sincere in the first place.

Booing FDR:  Amid the applause, there were a few boos for President George W. Bush during his [2005] State of the Union address.  Most came from Democrats when the president spoke about reforming Social Security.

How Will We Pay for Social Security and Medicare?.  Social Security and Medicare are making future promises much greater than the taxes that will be collected at current rates.  Unfortunately, some policymakers seem to be intent on making the problem worse, not better.  Reforms are needed that create more saving today for retirement and increase the nation's capital stock.

Social Security, Women and Working Families.  Social Security does not reflect the needs of 21st century families.  Further, due to policies established in the 1930s, many women are unfairly penalized for work.  These problems should be addressed during the process of reforming Social Security in a way that allows couples to invest some of their payroll taxes in personal retirement accounts.

Social Security:  America is on the brink of a national fiscal and retirement security crisis.  Social Security has a massive unfunded liability of $12 trillion, and in 2018 the program runs into the red as benefits paid exceed contributions.  What's more, the Social Security Trust Fund is full of meaningless government IOUs — there are no real assets in the "Trust Fund".  If nothing is done, in just a few years Americans will face massive tax hikes and benefit cuts.

What should be done to strengthen Social Security?  Due to demographic changes, the ratio of workers paying into Social Security is shrinking.  In the 1950's, there were about eight working-age Americans to support one retiree.  Today there are three.  In fifteen years, the ratio will be two workers per retiree.

Social Security Basics:  Americans have come to realize that Social Security faces serious financial problems that are only going to get worse.  This public concern is well grounded.  Studies and official reports confirm that Social Security is approaching a major financial crisis, and even if its revenue and expenditures were in long-term balance, the program is providing poorer and poorer retirement income security for the money Americans contribute.

Answering the Top 10 Myths About Social Security Reform:  The debate over Social Security reform contains a great deal of incorrect and misleading information.  These "myths" make it hard for workers to make an informed decision on their retirement finances and those of their children and grandchildren.

Here's one possibility:
End Social Security.  In a free society, government exists to serve its people.  In one that is not free, people are a tool of government.  By this standard, anyone following the current debate on Social Security reform would have to conclude that we are living in a society that is increasingly less free.

The Quest to Live Off Others.  If you're a senior citizen, you might be eligible for property tax reductions, subsidized prescription drugs, reduced fare on public transportation, and all manner of merchandise discounts.

What Social Security crisis?  In 1935, wealthy liberal do-gooder Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the most notorious violator of Constitutional federalism in the 20th Century, found a clause in that venerable document authorizing the central government to provide retirement benefits for all Americans.  Apparently, 100 years earlier, that clause did not exist.

The Social Security Scam:  The program would have been struck down as unconstitutional but for the guile of the United States' worst president, the socialist FDR, and a craven Supreme Court justice.  Social Security is the biggest fraud ever perpetrated, it is a welfare scheme that steals from the neediest, and it has been a path to a police state.

19 charged with Social Security check fraud.  In one of the largest prosecutions of its kind in the country, 19 people have been charged in federal court in Milwaukee with scamming the Social Security Administration out of some $270,000 -- in increments of about $500.  The investigation began after officials determined that the agency's Milwaukee North office on W. Fond du Lac Ave. was among the worst in the nation in terms of incidents of fraud.

[Among the worst?]

FDR is dead.  I have some advice for the reactionaries in the debate over Social Security reform:  Franklin Roosevelt is dead.  Get over it.  This notion, that Social Security is some kind of secular tithe to the false god of FDR, is intellectually and morally offensive.  It is dishonest.  Of course, liberal mythology about the New Deal legend is, uh, legendary.  Still, it's worth noting that the New Deal surely prolonged the Depression and did far less for poverty than the textbooks claim. … It was World War II, not the New Deal, that served to pull America out of its economic doldrums.

Social Security:  All Trust and No Fund.  Various reports claim Social Security is safe and secure.  In their annual report this year, the program's trustees insisted it would be able to pay benefits through 2042.  A recent Congressional Budget Office report is even more optimistic.  It says Social Security is solid through 2052.  But these reports pretend there is money in the Social Security trust fund, which actually is all trust and no fund.


People worried when the Social Security Act was passed in 1935 that the Social Security number (SSN) would become an all-purpose identifier — an understandable public response, at the time, to a rather dramatic institutional change.  But government officials reassured the public that the SSN would not be used for any such purpose.  Equally important, they showed restraint and only gradually expanded the federally mandated uses of the SSN — not mandating its use by other federal agencies until 1943.  A step at a time, during the 1960s the SSN became the taxpayer identifier used by the IRS, the identifier for federal civilian and military personnel, the Medicare identifier, and more.  In the 1970s Congress passed laws requiring the SSN's use for legally admitted aliens and anyone seeking federal benefits — and also gave the states free rein to use SSNs for identification purposes.  A series of federal laws passed in the 1980s required the issuance of SSNs to ever-younger children if their parents wanted to claim them as dependents on federal tax forms — by age 5, age 2, age 1, now at any age.  People got used to it.


Social Security deceit:  The next big lie is from the same [1936] Social Security pamphlet:  "Beginning November 24, 1936, the United States government will set up a Social Security account for you. … The checks will come to you as a right."  First, there's no Social Security account containing your money, but more importantly, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on two occasions that Americans have no legal right to Social Security payments.

Social Security: Defending the cap.  The cap – as technicians refer to it – is the earnings ceiling above which US workers' income is free of government pension taxes.  Currently, workers pay into Social Security 6.2 percent in tax on only the first $90,000 they earn.

Cap over the wall.  The Social Security trustees assume that 10 years from now economic growth will slow to 1.8 percent — about half the average growth rate since the Civil War — and will remain that low until 2080.  How do they know?  They don't.

What transition costs?  The Democratic Party establishment is appalled at the thought of private Social Security accounts turning ordinary Americans into owners of stocks and bonds and, therefore, potential Republicans.  The argument by Democrats that private accounts are too risky fails the test of history.  Nobody can find a 20-year period in America when investments have not gained.

Bush Social Security Revolution?  The Social Security Act was the signature accomplishment of Franklin Roosevelt's newly created American welfare state in 1935.  It switched the American ethos from individual and community reliance to national government responsibility for personal security and welfare.  Its early and apparently costless success provided the legitimacy for all of the expert-directed federal social programs that have followed to this very day.  Yet, today, it and its entire supporting apparatus stand near bankruptcy.

Social Security is Stealing Our Future.  The AARP and the Democrats are robbing our future in order to maintain a welfare system for the old by blocking Social Security reform.

A stealth tax.  Although President Bush has said that he would not increase Social Security taxes to pay for private accounts, some of his aides are floating the idea of a stealth tax increase on the wealthy, nevertheless.

Two-faced advice on Social Security.  The Washington Post editorial page has taken to arguing with itself over the merits of Social Security privatization.

A Guide to the New 2004 Social Security Trustees' Report.  The Report shows that today's Social Security cannot last.  Over time, the system has promised almost $26 trillion (in 2004 dollars) more in benefits than it will have the ability to pay.  Just repaying the amount that will be in Social Security's trust fund will cost over $5 trillion.

How to Fix Social Security:  There are only three real solutions to Social Security's rapidly approaching fiscal problems: raise taxes, reduce spending, or make the current payroll taxes work harder by investing them through some form of personal retirement account.

Time To Start Over With Social Security Numbers.  It isn't just Social Security benefits that Americans are worried about; it's the Social Security Number (SSN) itself.  The widespread misuse of SSNs is a growing political issue.

Privatizing Social Security.  Would you sign a contract that enabled the other party to change the terms of that contract at will, while you could neither stop him nor make any changes of your own?  Probably not.  Yet that is exactly what happens when you pay money into Social Security.

Privatizing Social Security:  Part II.  The key problem with Social Security is that it has never taken in enough to cover all the pensions it promised to pay.  Promises win votes but collecting enough money to pay for them does not.

Social Security and Its Discontents:  Social Security is the largest government program in the world.  But it is also a deeply troubled one, on the verge of financial collapse.  Within 15 years Social Security will begin running a deficit.  Overall, the program is more than $26 trillion in debt.  Without fundamental reform it will not be able to pay the benefits it has promised to our children and grandchildren.  That has prompted the most far-reaching discussion of the purpose and structure of Social Security since the program was enacted in 1935.

Kerry Has No "Plan" for Social Security.  Recently, Senator and presidential candidate John Kerry alleged a George Bush January "surprise" of aggressive action towards "privatizing" Social Security that will result in a future of destitution for America's seniors while the rest of America eats cake.  Mr. Kerry should have noticed that Al Gore tried the exact same thing but was unable to fool the informed voters who know that something must be done about Social Security's looming financial crisis.

Social Security and Market Risk:  The analysis finds that although there is a common perception that stocks are more risky than bonds, stocks outperformed bonds in every one of the 95 periods.  In addition, all-stock portfolios almost always outperformed mixed portfolios containing both stocks and bonds.  Furthermore, the performance of the capital markets is much better than what young people today can expect on their Social Security payroll tax dollars.

Are Medicare and Social Security really worth it?  The 2004 Medicare and Social Security Trustees Reports show that programs for the elderly are on an unsustainable course. The expenditures exceed the revenues to be collected, and the funding gap is projected to grow through time. Obligations to the elderly are more than six times the size of the economy and 18 times the size of the outstanding federal debt.

Social Security Reform:  Words Are Good but the American People Need Action.  Many people are shocked to learn the money they have been paying into Social Security over the years — more than 12 percent of their paychecks — has never been saved for their own retirement. — Instead, it has paid for the benefits of current retirees, and anything left over has been spent by politicians on other programs.

Privatizing Social SecurityThe U.S. Social Security system is broke.  It does not have the assets to pay promised benefits.  Unless the system is fundamentally changed, solvency will require either massive tax increases for future workers or draconian cuts in benefits for future retirees.  Social Security is also treating the vast majority of people who are working and paying taxes very badly.

Save People — Not The System.  Perhaps it is presumptuous for a black ex-welfare mom to lecture the chairman of the Federal Reserve about public policy.  However, African Americans suffer daily and disproportionately under a broken and unfair Social Security regime.

Gaps Exist in Laws Protecting Use of SSNs:  Information resellers, credit bureaus and health care companies routinely acquire Social Security numbers from their customers and face few restrictions on using and keeping them.

The criminal raid on Social Security:  Unbelievably, the White House is trying to convince us to embrace this global ripoff because it "rewards work."  No, it rewards criminal behavior.  The plan will siphon off the hard-earned tax dollars of American workers who may never see a dime of their confiscated earnings and fork it over to foreigners guilty of at least four acts of federal law-breaking:  crossing the border illegally, working illegally, engaging in tax fraud and using bogus documents.

Investing in Choice:  I understand what it means to invest, and Social Security doesn't come close.  An investment happens when you put money into an enterprise that makes a profit.  With Social Security, the money is spent by drunken politicians — and then replaced by higher taxes on younger people.  Everyone admits the program isn't solvent.

Frequently Asked Questions on SSNs and Privacy

Questions and Answers on Social Security

The Privacy Act of 1974 is the primary law affecting the use of SSNs.

It's social, but without much security.  It's no coincidence they put the election so close to Halloween.  It helps Democrats do what they do best — scare old folks.

Social Security:  Congress should allow young workers to redirect their payroll taxes to individually owned, privately invested retirement accounts.

Despicable!:  Let it be shouted from the housetops, over and over again:  There is no Social Security trust fund.  Got that?  There isn't one red cent in the so-called Trust Fund.  Nothing.  Nil.  Nada.  It's all been spent.  All of it.

The state of Social Security

America's Biggest Crooks:  Her Politicians.  The Enron case made headlines because fraud and deception of such magnitude is fairly unusual in the corporate world.  Washington fraud and deception of a much greater magnitude doesn't make the headlines because fraud and deception in government is standard practice.  That's what's so disgusting when politicians posture and demand that something be done to ensure honest corporate accounting practices.

Young and overtaxed — A Prescription for Ruin:  Social Security is a raw deal for the young.  While a worker born in 1915 who retired at 65 in 1980 collected $71,390 more than he paid into Social Security, a worker born in 1975 can expect to collect $93,486 less than she contributed.

Small-Time Crooks:  The world's largest Ponzi scheme is run, not by a corrupt corporation, but by the United States government.  The Social Security program takes one-eighth of the income of the current generation of workers and promises them a secure retirement — to be paid for by fleecing the next generation of workers.  Eventually, as with any Ponzi scheme, the number of new suckers coming into the system is not enough to pay the benefits owed to retirees.  This is projected to happen in the next 10 to 15 years, causing Social Security to go bankrupt.

Nearly 10 Percent of Foreigners are Illegally Reaping Social Security Cards:  More than 100,000 of the 1.2 million original Social Security numbers handed out to foreigners in 2000 were obtained through fake documents, the Social Security Administration said.

Conservative "Truth Squad" Battles Democrats' Attack Plan on Social Security:  A conservative seniors group Thursday [3/14/2002] launched a political pre-emptive attack against the Democratic Party and its strategists who are mapping out ways to damage Republicans on the issues of Social Security and Medicare.

The Social Security Crisis and What to Do About It:  "Social Security does not have any assets set aside for anybody's retirement.  It's a pay-as-you-go system.  You and I as under 62 or under 65-year-old taxpayers pay money in, and people who are now receiving Social Security receive that money within 30 days.  It's a conduit system.  What we pay in, somebody else receives.  Therefore it is dependent upon, when I retire, another generation of people to be doing the same thing."

Social Security's No Accounts:  Americans can have a secure retirement.  But lawmakers must be willing to shake up the system and start letting people put a portion of their Social Security taxes into personal accounts that they own.

The Left's Vision of Social Security:  What drives the Home Democratic Caucus crazy is the suspicion that the commission will recommend letting people invest part of their Social Security taxes in personal retirement accounts.

What does the Bible say about retirement?  Only recent English translations will use the word retirement, because the concept wasn't invented until 1885.

The Notch That Never WasFranklin D. Roosevelt knew what he was doing.  He once said that welfare is a "narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit."  He also boasted that no one would dare repeal his Social Security program.  Sure enough, once the old folks were hopelessly hooked on it, the Democrats have in the decades since, as they planned all along, ruthlessly and relentlessly exploited the old folks' fear of losing Social Security.

Panel Admits Lies on Social Security:  Americans are wrong in believing a bald-faced lie that they have a legal right to collect their Social Security benefits — Congress can stop paying anytime it wants, says a report.

Ten Deceptive Myths About Social Security, The Budget and the Economy.

Be an Activist for Privatizing Social Security

Social Security  A repository of all materials, released to the public by Americans for Tax Reform, pertaining to Social Security.

Social Security Rates of Return for Today's Young Workers:  (Not too good.)

The Failed Critique of Personal Accounts:  Why would anyone oppose such a highly desirable, beneficial reform for working people?  The real problem is that the personal account option would shift power and resources away from the centralized government in Washington, and the elitists who see themselves as controlling that government, and back to the workers themselves.  That is truly what the opponents of personal accounts for Social Security cannot accept.

Why Are They Really Against It?:  The fierce, shrill and unreasoned denunciations of allowing workers the freedom to choose a personal account option for Social Security may impress the gullible.  But those very qualities of the critique reveal its thorough hollowness.  The literally hysterical criticisms we have heard, based mostly on outright fabrications concerning President Bush's eventual personal account proposal, seem calculated only to shout down any true debate, which the opponents apparently fear they would lose.

Privatizing Social Security is Good for the Economy:  If President Bush successfully restructures Social Security, or even if he doesn't, the impact on the economy will be tremendous.

Time To Start Over With Social Security Numbers:  It isn't just Social Security benefits that Americans are worried about; it's the Social Security Number (SSN) itself.  The widespread misuse of SSNs is a growing political issue.

A Cost Benefit Analysis on Privatizing Social Security:  Privatizing Social Security won't involve transition costs.  In fact, it'll hardly cost us a thing.

"Fixing" Social Security:  As Congress debates "fixing" the Ponzi scheme we call Social Security, consider a few things.  Congress established Social Security with a little-known loophole, allowing states and municipalities to exempt their public employees from Social Security.  In 1981, two years before Congress closed the loophole, three counties in Texas opted out and set up their own privatized retirement system.  The result?  Since 1981, the counties' 5,000 public employees, while taxed at the same rate as Social Security, enjoyed an average return on an investment of 6.5 percent, compared to Social Security's 2.2 percent.

Questions & Answers On Privatizing Social Security.

Lessons from Chile on Social Security:  To meet the challenge of restructuring Social Security, we'd have to be a rich, advanced and developed country -- like Chile.  That's right, Chile... the third-rate third-world country that brilliantly succeeded in 1981 in a challenge that we haven't even grasped more than two decades later.  If Chile can fix its broken and bankrupt Social Security system, so can we.

Facts Refute Democrat Myth of Needy Elders

Democrats Scam On: The Social Security scare machine is going into full operation.

Who Uses Phony Social Security Numbers?  Most likely the first thought that would come to your mind when asked that question would be:  "An illegal alien."  Second would be someone intent on committing identity fraud...

Structure of Social Security Numbers.

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  • Social Security started in 1935.

  • The current numbering system started in 1936.

  • The IRS started requiring the numbers on tax returns in 1962.

  • In 1970, all banks were required to get your number.

  • My military ID number was changed to my Social Security Number in 1971.

  • In 1982 anyone getting any sort of government kiss had to show his or her number.

  • Babies now need SSNs, but incrementalism never stops with the last offense.


- Geoff Metcalf     

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