A new report from the government on the Social Security “trust fund” revealed that it won’t be able to pay full benefits by 2035. So how much of the money that you have paid in Social Security taxes (and remember we all do) will you actually see later in life? If you are already receiving benefits, how much do you stand to lose? What can Congress do to fix this and why haven’t they yet? This week, Heritage’s Rachel Grezler explains.

SHOW NOTES: https://www.dailysignal.com/2019/04/23/what-social-securitys-shortfall-means-for-you/

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There are 23 comments.

  1. Contributor

    No. 

    Next question, please. 

    • #1
    • May 10, 2019, at 6:31 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  2. Member

    Government Is How We Steal From Each Other™

    • #2
    • May 10, 2019, at 6:43 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  3. Listener

    2035 is five years before I could even collect partially. That is actually kind of funny. I’m a finance guy so I will say Yes it can be saved. How? Raising taxes and raising retirement age. Should it be saved? No. It’s a failure. Just support elderly poor and tell the middle class and upper class people “Too bad. Don’t trust the government next time.

    • #3
    • May 10, 2019, at 6:52 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  4. Member

    Yes. Every penny of it. The government will mint it, print it, borrow it, and/or electronically conjure it into existence.

    • #4
    • May 10, 2019, at 9:01 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  5. Member

    The only problem with having a non-tax, going to the government program is: First, you will not be able to get people to set aside the money. (They have to do it since its a tax now of course.) Secondly, you will not be able to keep people from dipping into the money if it is not in a (sorry to use the expression) lock box. Heck we couldn’t keep the government from dipping into the money – how we will keep a certain percentage of our fellow citizens from doing it. It is a Ponzi scheme now but with government backing.

    • #5
    • May 10, 2019, at 10:28 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  6. Member

    The question has a false implicit premise, that the government possesses “my money”. So there is no correct answer. The question is double-talk.

    It is alarming to see this leftist propaganda theme promoted on Ricochet, a supposedly pro-freedom website, and for not a single reader to challenge it. It has been repeatedly exposed by conservatives commentators and even Republican legislators over the years.

    The absurdity of the socialist’s party line is unwittingly printed in black and white in the article, which juxtaposes in the very same sentence…

    • the truth: citizen pay SS taxes (meaning that they are transferring ownership of the amount paid to government)
      and
    • the progressive’s lie that is contradicted by that truth: that “the money” belongs to the taxpayers.

    The fact is that Americans in future years will receive whatever payments were agreed to by the Congress that we the people voted in, in the prior election.

    Friends, you need to wake up and accept the fact. SS is a Federal welfare program, not your investment program or your insurance policy.

     

     

     

    • #6
    • May 10, 2019, at 10:29 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  7. Member

    I have an extremely relative that admits that there is no such thing as a “the social contract,” which is interesting.

    • #7
    • May 10, 2019, at 10:40 AM PDT
    • Like
  8. Member

    They need to get the younger up and coming workforce out of social security so they can cover their own financial security.

    We are not counting on it for ourselves. When tallying our retirement, it isn’t even a factor. 

    Instead of PSAs on Gardasil and vaping, maybe they should do PSAs on saving for retirement and old age.

    • #8
    • May 10, 2019, at 11:25 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  9. Member

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    I have an extremely relative that admits that there is no such thing as a “the social contract,” which is interesting.

    There used to be one. Diversity in culture and values wrecked it.

    • #9
    • May 10, 2019, at 11:27 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  10. Member

     

     

    • #10
    • May 10, 2019, at 11:35 AM PDT
    • Like
  11. Coolidge

    RS711 (View Comment):

    2035 is five years before I could even collect partially. That is actually kind of funny. I’m a finance guy so I will say Yes it can be saved. How? Raising taxes and raising retirement age. Should it be saved? No. It’s a failure. Just support elderly poor and tell the middle class and upper class people “Too bad. Don’t trust the government next time.

    When SS becomes a “welfare” thing, then it will not be popular. Politicians prefer the Ponzi scheme, where everybody gets more than they put in (goes the lie).

    • #11
    • May 10, 2019, at 12:11 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  12. Member

    DonG (View Comment):

    RS711 (View Comment):

    2035 is five years before I could even collect partially. That is actually kind of funny. I’m a finance guy so I will say Yes it can be saved. How? Raising taxes and raising retirement age. Should it be saved? No. It’s a failure. Just support elderly poor and tell the middle class and upper class people “Too bad. Don’t trust the government next time.

    When SS becomes a “welfare” thing, then it will not be popular. Politicians prefer the Ponzi scheme, where everybody gets more than they put in (goes the lie).

    SS has always been a welfare thing.

    • #12
    • May 10, 2019, at 12:25 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. Member

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    The question has a false implicit premise, that the government possesses “my money”. So there is no correct answer. The question is double-talk.

    It is alarming to see this leftist propaganda theme promoted on Ricochet, a supposedly pro-freedom website, and for not a single reader to challenge it. It has been repeatedly exposed by conservatives commentators and even Republican legislators over the years.

    The absurdity of the socialist’s party line is unwittingly printed in black and white in the article, which juxtaposes in the very same sentence…

    • the truth: citizen pay SS taxes (meaning that they are transferring ownership of the amount paid to government)
      and
    • the progressive’s lie that is contradicted by that truth: that “the money” belongs to the taxpayers.

    The fact is that Americans in future years will receive whatever payments were agreed to by the Congress that we the people voted in, in the prior election.

    Friends, you need to wake up and accept the fact. SS is a Federal welfare program, not your investment program or your insurance policy.

    The other thing people don’t understand is that “raiding” the “trust fund” has been a mandatory part of the program since the beginning. The fund as no choice but to “invest” in government bonds, the proceeds of which are spent currently. This doesn’t represent a change in policy but a continuation of the original design. When you look at the substance of the system rather than its form (which the IRS loves to do when analyzing your transactions but not the government’s), its a tax that is based on income and a welfare benefit that is also based on income. Beyond the fact that the tax and the benefit are both based on same wage base, they aren’t tied together in a way that would give anyone an enforceable property interest in the taxes they have already paid. The Supreme Court confirmed this understanding in case from the 1970’s.

    To put the proposition differently, your general income tax is based on income and so is eligibility for food stamps; but if you lost your job and went on food stamps, you (probably) won’t say that you earned those food stamps and you are just getting back what you paid in. People do – somewhat understandably – talk about Social Security that way. While there are some obvious differences between FICA and Social Security on the one hand and the general income tax and food stamps on the other, from a legal/property rights perspective they really aren’t that different.

    • #13
    • May 10, 2019, at 2:31 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  14. Member

    Jason Obermeyer (View Comment):

    The Supreme Court confirmed this understanding in case from the 1970’s.

    Sorry, the case (Fleming v. Nestor, 363 U.S. 603) was from 1960 rather than the 70’s.

    • #14
    • May 10, 2019, at 2:34 PM PDT
    • Like
  15. Member

    This is a great discussion.

    • #15
    • May 10, 2019, at 2:48 PM PDT
    • Like
  16. Member

    Jason Obermeyer (View Comment):
    The other thing people don’t understand is that “raiding” the “trust fund” has been a mandatory part of the program since the beginning.

    No, it is not true that the government has been raiding the trust fund. The socialists say that it is, but they are lying.

    The fund as no choice but to “invest” in government bonds,…

    No, it is not true that the fund has invested in government bonds. The socialists say that it has, but they are lying.

    the proceeds of which are spent currently.

    No, it is not true that the proceeds of investments are spend currently. The socialists say that proceeds of investments are being spent, but they are lying.

    All three of these untrue beliefs stem from your implicitly affirming the socialist propaganda points. 

    By accepting the lies, you are stating the problem in terms of the lies. Then the discussion is about

    • “let’s stop raiding the trust fund”
    • “how the trust fund should invest”
    • “how to spend the proceeds of the trust fund”

    That is exactly what socialists want you to be arguing about. By defining the terms of the debate they have pre-determined the outcome.

    They want the debate to be about, not the welfare program, but about the fake questions of how to manage it as if it were a pension and insurance program.

     

    • #16
    • May 10, 2019, at 3:28 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. Member

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    No, it is not true that the fund has invested in government bonds. The socialists say that it has, but they are lying.

    I’m not going to look it up right now, but isn’t this about some certificates stuck in a filing cabinet in Virginia?

    This whole thing is so dishonest, but people don’t treat it that way. 

    It’s not easy to understand. It’s hard to understand. 

    • #17
    • May 10, 2019, at 3:36 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. Member

    Jason Obermeyer (View Comment):

     

     When you look at the substance of the system rather than its form (which the IRS loves to do when analyzing your transactions but not the government’s), its a tax that is based on income and a welfare benefit that is also based on income. Beyond the fact that the tax and the benefit are both based on same wage base, they aren’t tied together in a way that would give anyone an enforceable property interest in the taxes they have already paid. The Supreme Court confirmed this understanding in case from the 1970’s.

    To put the proposition differently, your general income tax is based on income and so is eligibility for food stamps; but if you lost your job and went on food stamps, you (probably) won’t say that you earned those food stamps and you are just getting back what you paid in. People do – somewhat understandably – talk about Social Security that way. While there are some obvious differences between FICA and Social Security on the one hand and the general income tax and food stamps on the other, from a legal/property rights perspective they really aren’t that different.

    I criticized the first part of this post but I agree with all of the above. It is an excellent explanation of the reality, which is governed by legal reality.

    • #18
    • May 10, 2019, at 3:51 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. Listener

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    No, it is not true that the fund has invested in government bonds. The socialists say that it has, but they are lying.

    I’m not going to look it up right now, but isn’t this about some certificates stuck in a filing cabinet in Virginia?

    This whole thing is so dishonest, but people don’t treat it that way.

    It’s not easy to understand. It’s hard to understand.

    I live in DC and have a fellow accounting friend who actually audited the SSA (Social Security Administration). He saw the certificates that you mentioned. I believe they are a special type of Treasury Bond that are issued so that the Social Security Funds could be taken over to Treasury and spent. He did mention to me that the IOU’s from Treasury are very well organized. It sort of reminds me of the suitcase full of IOUs that they open up at the end of Dumb and Dumber after the guys have blown all the actual money.

    • #19
    • May 13, 2019, at 6:20 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. Member

    RS711 (View Comment):

    I live in DC and have a fellow accounting friend who actually audited the SSA (Social Security Administration). He saw the certificates that you mentioned. I believe they are a special type of Treasury Bond that are issued so that the Social Security Funds could be taken over to Treasury and spent. He did mention to me that the IOU’s from Treasury are very well organized. It sort of reminds me of the suitcase full of IOUs that they open up at the end of Dumb and Dumber after the guys have blown all the actual money.

    The law has always required the money to be “invested” (not using that term literally) into treasuries. In the beginning, the fund purchased normal treasuries. They switched to the special issue bonds at some point. I believe it had to do with the special issue bonds paying a constant interest rate that was higher than the rate publicly available bonds were being auctioned for. This raises that question of whether or not they could “solve” (again not using that term literally) the problem by making the special issue bonds pay an even higher interest rate. This would funnel general tax dollars into the “trust fund” without violating the law (at least as I understand it) and allow full benefits to be paid until everything collapses all at once. Its all a fraudulent accounting trick anyway; they might as well go all in. 

    • #20
    • May 13, 2019, at 10:01 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  21. Member

    Jason Obermeyer (View Comment):
    The law has always required the money to be “invested” (not using that term literally) into treasuries.

    You’ve fallen into the common fallacy of believing that a quantity of money is concrete. This is an example of the “fallacy of misplaced concreteness”, or “concretism”. In fact, money is fungible. When you send tax payment to the government, you can speak of “the money”, but as soon as the clerk deposits it to one of the Treasury’s TT&L accounts, it ceases to be an identifiable object. To speak of “the money” from that point on is absurd.

     In the beginning, the fund purchased normal treasuries.

    This is an absurd idea, that a legal entity can purchase something from itself. To begin to understand the Social Security program, you need to stop believing this.

    They switched to the special issue bonds at some point.

    This is another example of confusing abstractions with reality. There are no bonds to begin with in any meaningful sense of the word: a debt owed by one person to another. Calling one of these things a “special bond”, or a “polka-dotted bond”, is just as meaningless as calling it a “bond” to begin with.

    I believe it had to do with the special issue bonds paying a constant interest rate that was higher than the rate publicly available bonds were being auctioned for.

    Jason, a person or other legal entity cannot pay anything to itself. Moving a dollar bill from your left pocket to your right pocket is not a case of somebody paying something to someone. When you make an entry in Quicken, marking 100 dollars as being in the Category “Vacation Fund”, no one is paying anything to anyone. You are confusing internal bookkeeping activities with actual payments.

    This raises that question of whether or not they could “solve” (again not using that term literally) the problem by making the special issue bonds pay an even higher interest rate. This would funnel general tax dollars into the “trust fund” without violating the law (at least as I understand it) and allow full benefits to be paid until everything collapses all at once.

    All of this is nonsensical talk. There are no bonds, no interest, no trust fund. If abstract things were concrete things, then they could have real effects. They could “allow full benefits to be paid”, or cause “everything to collapse”. But abstract things are not concrete things. They can’t allow or prevent anything concrete.

    Its all a fraudulent accounting trick anyway.

    That is correct.

     

     

    • #21
    • May 13, 2019, at 11:54 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. Member

    I do not have a head for this stuff.

    I get the impression that the only thing that matters is the Federal debt to GDP constantly going up.

    • #22
    • May 13, 2019, at 12:02 PM PDT
    • Like
  23. Member

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    I do not have a head for this stuff.

    I get the impression that the only thing that matters is the Federal debt to GDP constantly going up.

    We can look at what matters in terms of morals, or religion, or politics.

    But for the moment let’s look at it in terms of pure economics–in terms of cold hard science that makes no judgements of right and wrong, only of what is possible and impossible in an economic system.

    From the perspective of economic science, what is happening since the Progressives became the dominant force in American politics in the early 20th century is the gradual, more-or-less steady (but for some temporary disruptions and changes of pace) transfer of ownership of the citizen from himself to the government.

    Economics is the science of human action, but we need to understand that in that phrase of the economists, “action” has a special, restrictive meaning. We may describe a hungry prisoner eating the three meals that are pushed through a slot into his cell as his “actions”, but in economics jargon, that doesn’t qualify. The farmer producing the grains that went into the meal were economic action, and the exchange of those goods for money.

    But pushing the food into the cell, which was an action of government, is the last action in the chain. In terms of purchases on markets (i.e., catallactics), the government’s purchase of the prisoners’ food is “Final Consumption”, as is the purchase of feed by a farmer.

    The prisoner eating is almost exactly the same as a hen in a poultry factory eating its feed.

    In an economy where one of the actors creates the economy’s money, the amount of that actor’s monetary debt to actors who do not have the power to create money is more or less a useless measure of economic activity. The debt will be translated into real payments from the money creator to the non-money creators at a level of purchasing power which the creditor is able to manipulate to suit himself.

    So we must pretty much ignore Federal debt, unless we at the same time apply difficult, unreliable corrections to account for its manipulations.

    What matters is private spending as a proportion of all spending in a given year.

    When all spending is public spending, then the people will be 100% slaves, even if

    • the tax rate is zero
    • the Federal deficit is zero
    • and the Federal debt is zero

    This is why AOC, with her plans for Modern Monetary Theory, just loves to have Republicans worrying about the three above figures. Her Progressives will grant us all three of our wishes, as they fasten the shackles on our legs.

    • #23
    • May 13, 2019, at 1:07 PM PDT
    • 1 like