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Thread: Where Social Security is Headed

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Captainron's Avatar
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    May 2007

    Where Social Security is Headed

    Note: I have placed previous articles and comments regarding federally funded entitlements and how they are impacted by immigration. I personally believe that decoupling the main body of Social Security Administration resources from the federal tax system---granted that is is funded by a separate tax---is politically unacheivable. Most people have experienced times of loss on privately held investments, if not directly then by pension funds so invested. This introduces an element of risk and Americans seem to be getting more leery of risk. Additionally, many conservative action groups rely on older citizens for input, and those citizens rely on their federal checks. That also means that talk of major privatizing of retirement funds is wasting time---though some hybrid form might eventually occur.

    However, there are tandem programs that COULD be reformed or perhaps replaced by something that returns those entitlements to their original intent. The SSI (Supplemental Security Income)entitlement is one----I had an uncle stricken with serious muscular dystrophy who received $35 per month and lived with our family, the basic stipend providing simply for his most essential needs. Today the SSI program has diversified into a continual assistance to certain children labeled with a learning disorder. But is also used by foreign citizens who file for the several hundred dollars per month stipend--and even move back to poorer countries and spend the money there. It is expected to grow several times in size in the next three decades with present trends. This should be a concern to young people, who will also see the main SS system financially challenged. Changing SSI would likely be a lot easier and more popular than sweeping changes to SS. See:

    Social Security — fix it or scrap it?

    By Jennie L. Phipps ·

    Thursday, September 17, 2015
    Posted: 5 pm ET

    Republican presidential hopeful New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie argued during the latest GOP debate that Social Security's costs should be reined in. "Harvard and Dartmouth say that Social Security will go insolvent in 7 to 8 years," he said.
    The days of leisurely retirements may soon be a thing of the past.

    Christie was probably referring to a report published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives last spring that was very critical of the job Social Security is doing in estimating the program's revenues and costs. It was written by Gary King, a professor of social science at Harvard University; Samir Soneji, an assistant professor at Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice at Dartmouth College; and Konstantin Kashin, a Ph.D. candidate at Harvard University.
    Are these guys more accurate than Social Security's actuaries? Maybe not. The latest report from the Social Security Board of Trustees estimates that the trust fund will be depleted by 2034, after which about 79% of its obligations would be payable from payroll and other taxes.
    Social Security's problems could be corrected with some relatively minor tweaks -- especially if those tweaks are made soon.
    But Christie's point was that Social Security needs to be re-examined, and it should go to the people who need it, those who might have to choose between paying for heat, rent or food.
    Another study's perspective of cost

    The Urban Institute recently released a new study showing the growing cost of both Social Security and Medicare over time. The report, "Social Security and Medicare Lifetime Benefits and Taxes," points out that the amount of Social Security promised to millennials is significantly greater than that due to or claimed by older generations. It projects that millennial couples who earn average wages would be due nearly $2 million in expected benefits from both Social Security and Medicare under current law, as life expectancy grows and health care costs rise.

    Lifetime value of Social Security, Medicare benefits at age 65(in 2015 dollars)Married couple earning the average wage ($49,000 in 2015), by year couple turns 6539,000156,000422,000621,000965,000269,000487,000 616,000731,000962,000Social SecurityMedicare19601980201520302050$0$500,000$1,0 00,000$1,500,000$2,000,000

    2015● Medicare: $422,000● Social Security: $616,000Source: C.E. Steuerle and C. Quakenbush, Urban Institute, 2015.Based on earlier work with Adam Carasso and StephanieRennane. Calculations based on data from Social Security andCMS trustees

    "These costs will put enormous pressure on the system, and they aren't sustainable," says C. Eugene Steuerle, an economist and primary author of the study. "These programs will basically crimp spending on everything else."
    Steuerle, who is 68 and still working but claiming Social Security survivor benefits available to widowers, believes that people need to understand the financial issues surrounding these programs. He says that government leaders -- and candidates -- have an obligation to explain the tough issues.
    He maintains that the current recipients of Social Security and Medicare -- on whom most of the current discussions of these 2 programs are focused -- aren't likely to be affected at all by the rising costs of the programs. The people who will feel the pain are millennials and their children. As the father of 2 millennials and the grandfather of their 3 children, ages 4, 7 and 8, Steuerle thinks it is critical that there be a discussion, especially among those most likely to be affected by the vast amounts that will be spent on these programs.
    Steuerle says people who will pay most of the bills should be considering these issues: "Is this where we want the growth in government to go? Is spending most of its money providing retirement funds what the government should be doing? Should there be other priorities?"
    Steuerle believes in considering other options. "I think government needs to serve people of all ages. I think we're moving away from a society where you receive an education when you are young, work when you are in middle age, and live a life of leisure when you are old. It is a paradigm that doesn't work any longer," he says.
    Most people agree that Social Security's finances should be stabilized.
    "Men of low degree are vanity, Men of high degree are a lie. " David
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Captainron's Avatar
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    May 2007
    4 out of 5 states with highest percentage of minor age SSI recipients (>60 pc) who are children w/mental problems are in the NorthEast. Why?
    Newmexican likes this.
    "Men of low degree are vanity, Men of high degree are a lie. " David
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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