Here we go again. We have arrived at the time for the release of the annual Social Security Administration (SSA) report. It got the usual headlines across the media, that the SSA will “run out of money” in 2034. Most of the stories played it all scary, although noting that after the system will still pay 3/4 of what it was. But, of course, Congress can act now to fix the system the stories say, leaving it vague what that would amount to. Two points on this.
The first is that basically this is a repeat of the deadlines reported last year, 2034 still the year estimated for the trust fund comes to an end, the moment when the baby boomers arguably stop paying for their own retirement, as was put in place back in 1983, the year of the last major change in the system. So, no new news on those fronts, although most of the media did not note this. This was supposed to be dramatic new revelation.
The second is that there actually is a piece of new news, and it happens to be good. It is that the Disability System seems to have become financially stabilized. This was probably the part of the system that had been recently in the worst financial shape, but now it is doing much better. However, this good news was downplayed, to the extent it was reported at all. This would have distracted from the bad news stories, which the VSPs like to push so as to suggest cuts in benefits so those tax cuts for the rich can be preserved.