AS SOCIAL SECURITY TURNS 80, ITS DAYS MAY BE NUMBERED, WARN EXPERTS

AS SOCIAL SECURITY TURNS 80, ITS DAYS MAY BE NUMBERED, WARN EXPERTS

Social Security was signed into law on August 14, 1935, by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Friday, August 14, 2015 is this huge government program’s 80th birthday.

Today Social Security and its related benefit programs Medicare and Medicaid are running short of money – and are in real trouble.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is expected to run out of money in 2016. President Barack Obama’s administration relaxed its qualifications, and SSDI beneficiaries increased by 50 percent, to more than 10 million. This is almost as many as have full-time jobs in all of manufacturing.

In their latest book, Don’t Bank On It! The Unsafe World of 21st Century Banking, Craig Smith and Lowell Ponte explain why Social Security may not be there for a large share of today’s workers – but could soon demand that they pay 25 percent or more of their income in taxes to provide benefits for Baby Boomers.

In Smith and Ponte's forthcoming book, We Have Seen The Future…And It Looks Like Baltimore, they show how our politicians looted the Social Security Trust Fund, and how Obamanomics undermined Social Security’s promise of a secure retirement.

12 Shocking Facts About Social Security:

1. Social Security was supposed to keep Americans safe from old-age poverty – but Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare are rapidly running out of money. Its rising taxes on younger workers might soon drive them into poverty and leave millions unable to retire.

2. No matter how much you pay into Social Security, the high courts have ruled that Social Security has no legal obligation to pay you anything.

3. Social Security on paper has a trust fund of at least $2.8 Trillion that, along with taxes, is supposed to keep the system solvent until the early 2030s. But as Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer has reported, the Office of Management and Budget described this as a mere “bookkeeping” device that does “not consist of real economic assets that can be drawn down in the future to fund benefits.”

“In other words,” wrote Krauthammer, “the Social Security trust fund contains – nothing.” The politicians “borrowed” and spent $2.66 Trillion from it, leaving only IOUs. Citizens must be taxed again to pay these IOUs.

4. Medicare, an expansion of Social Security, in mid-2015 celebrated its 50th birthday. To fund Obamacare, President Obama and a Democrat-controlled Congress looted $735 Billion – nearly three-quarters of a trillion dollars – from Medicare’s trust fund.

5. Social Security was supposed to be a better way to save for retirement than private pensions because government-promised COLAs, cost-of-living increases, would offset the purchasing power stolen by inflation. Food and gasoline costs skyrocketed under President Obama, but he allowed no COLA increases for Social Security beneficiaries in 2009, 2010 and 2011, before providing token relief in re-election year 2012. Mr. Obama thus permanently lowered the baseline for all future COLAs, forever robbing present and future Social Security beneficiaries.

6. When created 80 years ago, Social Security benefits were not taxed. During Democratic President Bill and Hillary Clinton’s administration, the law was changed so that up to 85 percent of a recipient’s Social Security income can be taxed….taxing again what was paid as taxes to create security for that person’s old age.

This cynical political tax “claw back” of money affects mostly those who continue to work into old age while collecting Social Security. But the enormous damage that Mr. Obama’s anti-business economic policies have done to our economy has so reduced incomes and savings that millions are forced to keep working.

This greedy grab by government to take back Social Security benefits makes many work until they die “in harness” like an old mule, after a life of forced labor for the taxman.

7. Social Security’s original retirement age was 65 -- which just happened to be beyond the then-lifespan of the average African-American male, millions of whom never lived to collect benefits. So much for Progressives’ claims to be for “equality.” If Black lives mattered to Democrats, why did they build racial discrimination into Social Security?

The retirement age for full-benefit Social Security has been raised to 66 for those born 1943 to 1954, and to 67 for those born in 1960 or thereafter. The rationalization is that people on average now live longer – a pretext that could be used to raise Social Security’s retirement age to 70, 75 or 80 so that government can renege on paying the benefits it provided to earlier generations.

This is discrimination by birth date and generation -- age discrimination that would not be tolerated if imposed instead by race or gender, even though women typically outlive men and those of certain races usually live longer than others.

8. Politicians such as Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie have called for changing Social Security’s rules in a variety of discriminatory ways to increase its assets. In addition to raising the eligibility age and reducing COLAs, planners have proposed reducing benefits.

9. Planners talk of increasing Social Security taxes. President Obama’s allies have spoken of imposing this tax on every dollar earned, even by billionaires.

10. Many Progressives now argue that Social Security benefits ought to be means tested, like welfare, and denied to those “rich enough not to need” Social Security.

Social Security has expanded into a welfare, not merely retirement, program. Means testing would start with the rich and likely soon be used to deny benefits to the middle class.

Such unequal standards would benefit the profligate, and punish the thrifty by using their 401(k) or IRA savings to deny them Social Security benefits they were forced to pay into their entire working lives.

11. Even Social Security’s supporters admit that it resembles a Ponzi scheme relying on today’s worker taxes to pay today’s retirees. Despite President Obama’s millions of illegal immigrants, America’s fertility rate has recently fallen to a non-replacement level of 1.84 children per woman. Meanwhile, the huge Baby Boom generation is retiring while nearly 94 million working-age Americans cannot find full-time jobs. Benefits must soon be cut or Social Security taxes raised, which would reduce the capital companies have to hire more workers. If the economy sinks further, Social Security might sink with it.

12. Social Security and its related programs devour a larger share of total government revenues each year. If present trends continue, they will soon be eating up 25 percent of America’s entire annual Gross Domestic Product. The entire federal budget is around $4 Trillion. Social Security alone each year adds another $5 Trillion to America’s long-term unfunded liabilities.

"Like the fabled Little Red Hen, if you want someday to retire, you should not rely solely on Social Security," say Smith and Ponte.

"You should consider moving a portion of your savings into something more reliable than paper dollars that the government’s printing presses could devalue overnight merely by printing trillions more of them," Smith and Ponte write.

"If you want real security, you should act decisively to build it yourself."

To schedule a fascinating interview about the history, politics and finances of Social Security with Craig R. Smith or Lowell Ponte, contact: Bronwin Barilla at 800-950-2428 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 
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