Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Social Security Reality Check

Do you really believe any of the Presidential candidates is going to tell you the truth about Social Security? The reality of the matter is that by 2016 Social Security will be taking in less money than it is paying out. Today Social Security has nearly $2.3 trillion dollar trust fund and that number is increasing - so you say big deal you blowhard! I beg to differ.

The Social Security Trust Fund is a misnomer and although secured by Treasury Bills having IOU's from one arm of the government to another doesn't cover the bills. The only way for the Social Security Administration to get it's money from the Treasury is if the rest of the government spends less, collect more taxes, or borrow it. If you are 20 or 30 something like myself you had better start thinking about how you are going to retire and not depend on the government. Check it out for yourself in the 2007 trustees' report in figure VI-8. Note that by 2025 the systems cash flow is negative $280 billion and by 2030 it hits half a trillion! That is unsupportable unless we plan to devote the entire federal budget to the retirement of baby-boomers'. Now pile on that several of the democratic candidates want to expand the government with universal healthcare and other programs where does that leave us?

So I offer this to you in advance - the 2008 trustees' report should be out soon and when it does if you hear a Presidential candidate talking about 2030 or 2040 ignore it. If they talk about 2016 pay attention - it means they see the big picture and don't have their head up their ass.

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