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Published: Friday, May 30 2014 2:05 p.m. MDT

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prelax
Murray, UT

For 75 years social security has taken in more than it's spent. Is there another government program that has been in the black for that long?

If it wasn't for the recession it would still be in the black. Get Americans back to work, and the economy humming again, and it will be a non issue.

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

"Starting in 2010 … taxes collected weren't sufficient to fund that year's benefit payments,"

So raise taxes back to where they should be for high earners.

We have to remember that Reaganomics tampered with a system that worked, and left us with a MESS that does not work.

If we can get rid of the ridiculous "Conservatives" in Congress and implement workable solutions, then yes, we can save Social Security.

gmlewis
Houston, TX

Social Security has been in the black because there were lots of workers to support each retiree. That demographic is changing with the retirement of the baby boomers and the reduction in workers due to dropping birth rates. It will take more than a booming economy to fix Social Security.

prelax
Murray, UT

FICA increase in the 80's was passed to build a reserve for the baby boomers. The birth rates have been steady above the replacement level until the recession. It drops during hard times, always has, always will.

In the 20's we hit one hundred million people, by the 70's we hit two million people, by 2010 we hit 300 million people. We are more than replacing workers.

Kings Court
Alpine, UT

The only reason Social Security is in trouble is due to politicians raiding the trust fund for 50 years to shore up other areas of government spending.

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Wow, they sure don't teach much about economics or government any more, or some people were not paying attention.

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, and where once six workers paid in for each person drawing out, that is now down to almost one for one.
Much of Social Security spending is not traditional payments to wage earners, but straight handouts for life to "disabled" people who have gamed the system.

Class warfare to seize the earning of the rich only serves to stifle earnings and also taxes which are a percentage of earnings. Take it all if you like, and you will get almost nothing.

We have delayed fixing Social Security for so long (for partisan political reasons) that the essential changes will be even more painful than if we had made modest changes during the Bush Administration.

Anyone under 30 who thinks they will ever collect a dime of Social Security for themselves will be terribly disappointed. Bet on it!

samhill
Salt Lake City, UT

The Social Security (SS) scheme, like all other Ponzi schemes, is destined to eventual collapse and for all the same reasons. In the case of SS, one has at least the advantage of having the statistical precision of death probabilities to help chart the eventual time of the collapse. However, even that has been compromised by the typical corruption of the government's financial data.

It is amazing to me that so few people are aware of the fact that the so-called "lock box" into which the SS tax revenues have been supposedly safeguarded for future use by the contributors has been raided to pay other government functions for **decades**!! All that is left in the "lock box" of a SS account are a bunch of IOUs.

So, in yet another aspect characteristic of a Ponzi scheme, where the scammers use current "investments" to fund fictitious juicy returns AND pay for their own lavish life styles, the government hands out SS funds for people lucky enough to get something while there's still something to get, AND pay for (some of) the wasteful, bloated governmental operations.

It's a big SCAM!

prelax
Murray, UT

Number of Americans working 144 million

Number of Americans drawing social security 56 million. (includes non working children and spouses of ex workers)

If it is a ponzi scheme, so is the insurance industry. Don't people support themselves when they pay into it for 40-45 years?

Meckofahess
Salt Lake City, UT

I believe if we could get the Democrats and Republicans to work together there are solutions to be found for Social Security. One component might be a need for higher taxes on high earners? Lets elect people who are able to implement compromise and outcome driven strategies to solve problems. Term limits would probably help too.

ordinaryfolks
seattle, WA

One may argue to the end of time if Social Security is a ponzu scheme, or a fraud on working Americans, or whatever the latest right wing talking point may be.

However, it will never go away. We just have to figure out how to fund future obligations, or cut benefits, or raise the retirement age, or whatever solutions our Congress allows to pass.

The problem most people have with Social Security though, is their failure to save for their old age. You can not live on Social Security alone.

Hamath
Omaha, NE

@ prelax...
So is the insurance company.

Right on! Absolutely right.

BrentBot
Salt Lake City, UT

Social Security could remain in the black if the freeloaders who didn't pay their FICA taxes are excluded from the system.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

If we could avoid future costly and unnecessary wars, we would have enough money for things that actually benefitted us such as Social Security. The American people are being taken for a ride. It would be nice if they would wake up.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

Doing the math. Figure the different interest rates through the years the baby boomers worked till retirement. Every one who reached retirement would of had millions. Let government control it you'll get nothing. Sacrifice liberty for security you'll get neither.

Joshua Steimle
Draper, UT

I wish more people would oppose SS on principle. Can anyone make the case that it is justifiable in any situation use force to take someone's legitimately earned money? Regardless of the noble intentions, regardless of the results--how can anyone get around the fact that SS is effectively theft? If you don't believe it is theft, then I'd love to hear your reasoning. When someone uses the threat of violence to take my money, which I don't want to give to them, I can't see how it can be called anything else.

Fred44
Salt Lake City, Utah

Joshua,

Do you feel the same way about the state of Utah taking my income tax money to pay for the education of other peoples children regardless of the noble intentions of educating children?

the truth
Holladay, UT

@Fred44

Does the extreme left want us to spend more on education or not?

I think the State of Utah has shown you can do more with less, by exercising responsibility.

And people exercising personal responsibility with their own money, rather than allowing the government to take it away from them out of their control, can do more with it than big federal government.

KJR
Alpine, UT

The math is simple. The number of retirees is going up and the number of workers paying FICA is going down. The impact of this has been known for decades. Politicians can do math (well, some their assistants can). The problem is that their math only looks 2, 4, or 6 years ahead only. The idea of high income workers paying more is the head-in-the-sand "there will be no unforeseen consequences" school of thought. High income earners (not the very highest - of which there are few - but the several million that really pay almost 50% of the taxes) are already scaling back in their work due to regulations and taxes. I was taught in school that "a taxable dollar is better than no dollar at all" -- but that depends on how much extra work you have to do to get that extra dollar and how much of it you get to keep. I actually heard someone suggest that we require the "rich" to keep working in their professions and not downsize or scale back their small businesses . . . but I seem to recall a constitutional amendment that outlawed slavery.

Aggie238
Logan, UT

Yeah, I'm not planning on getting a dime of SS. Which makes me even more resentful of paying into the system. I can take care of myself, thank you very much!

Aggie238
Logan, UT

And yes, Joshua, all taxation by definition is theft. It is using coercion to force people to give some up some of their property. Some of it is necessary in order for government to carry out its constitutionally mandated responsibilities. A lot of it, like social security, is not.

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