(Dan here….) Via the New York Times comes an article on the Social Security shortfall. No explanations given for what the shortfall context is, and not till the end was a fix suggested. In comments calling SS a ponzi scheme (with no explanation) was common, or with the fix mostly was about lifting the cap. Only one commenter referred readers to a Bruce Bartlett article from 2013 on the matter,
From an e-mail by Dale Coberly
Forgive me, I have studied this problem and may actually know what I am talking about.All we have to do is pay an extra dollar per week per person per year. After next year It will be more like a dollar and ten cents. And if we wait another year it will be about a dollar and twenty cents for the first few years, then a great deal less than a dollar per week on average. This would keep Social Security solvent essentially forever. The Deputy Chief Actuary at Social Security agrees that this is true.This would mean people are paying more, but not a lot more, for their Social Security. That is they would be setting aside enough money through Social Security to save enough to live on when they will no longer be able to work. Don’t fool yourself: working longer is not going to be possible for at least half the population. And since they will have paid for it themselves, there is no reason they should not be able to retire if they want to even if they “could” work longer.The Social Security Trustees Report says that about a one and a half percent (about fifteen dollars per week) one time “immediate and permanent” increase would keep SS solvent for the next seventy five years.This would not be a real burden, or even noticeable once people got over their overreaction to the increase. Even the about twenty dollars per week that would come in 2035 or so if we wait to the last minute will not be a real burden. Wages will have risen by about two hundred dollars per week by then. Again, no no one would think twice about it if it weren’t for the Big Liars making it sound like some kind of tragedy: “You are going to have to put aside an extra twenty dollars per week, out of your two hundred dollar raise, in order to have enough to live on for the extra two to four years you will expect to live.” [Dollar amounts are in present terms. SS pay as you go financing automatically takes care of inflation and real interest.]The thing is they keep talking about it as if “we” — that is “the government”– can’t afford it. But we — that is each of us — certainly can afford it.But “they” want to talk about it as if “the government” was going to have to come up with trillions of dollars. And they call it “socialism.” Meanwhile the “progressives” want to make it socialism by “making the rich pay” for it.Social Security was carefully designed to NOT be welfare. It’s just the worker saving enough of his own money to pay for his own food and shelter when he will be too old to work, and insuring himself against the possibility that otherwise he might not be able to save enough. The government does not pay for any of this. The “rich” do not pay for more than they will get back with reasonable interest, including its insurance value.Since you have been lied to intensively for at least the last thirty years, you will not easily understand this or believe it. But it can be proven with attention to real math and real facts. There is no hope the people will understand it if no one tells them. The question is are you willing to do the work?