Your Opinion: Alarmist view of Social Security
Sunday, May 12, 2013
When Steve Sampson talks to us we run for the bunkers. He has a bomb in every missive. His latest on May 6 blast is his affirmation that Social Security is insolvent.
This is bad news for lovers of Ronald Reagan (whom I thought included Sampson). Back in the ‘80s President Reagan commissioned a panel led by Alan Greenspan to arrange SSA finances for weathering the baby boomer retirement onslaught that is about to now happen. To do this the Greenspan commission increased contributions from employees’ payroll deductions and indexed this increase each year. As of 2013 this tax is 6.2 percent for income up to $113,700. It increases slightly every year. The second thing the Greenspan commission did was take the monies over payroll contributions that were not needed to fund yearly SSA payments and trade those excess monies for US Government treasuries. The amount in treasuries now held by SSA is about $2.4 trillion.
Republicans today are not Reagan Republicans. Those government bonds held by Social Security are now called IOUs by opponents of Social Security. SSA bonds are no different than bonds held by China. They are backed by the full credit and faith in our government. If the Chinese are not worried why are the Steve Sampsons of the world worried? I always wonder.
The trustees of the Social Security administration say they will be able to pay 100 percent of all payments until 2035. After that if no changes are made SSA will pay 84 percent of benefits. What congress person would allow that? This is a fake crisis 22-25 years in the future.
Why is Sampson the alarmist? Is he not crying “wolf” so much that his message is lost. I personally find most of his numbers questionable. I find his alarmist message of SSA insolvency hyped and exaggerated. And if his message was correct, he offers zero solutions. I read from many sources that for half of all people on Social Security this is their primary source of retirement income. The average SSA payment is about $14,000 a year. This is our own money being paid back. What is Steve’s alternate plan? Are millions to beg on the streets? To date Americans depending on a Social Security check have not been let down. If disaster is coming what is your solution Steve Sampson?
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