Social Security: Their numbers are bullshit, they’ll steal us blind, please pass this on!


From MANNY GOLDSTEIN
Democratic Underground

OK, by now we all know that the Social Security Trust Fund will be depleted in 26 years, and only a portion of benefits will be paid after that. Actually, that “known fact” is pure BS, a product of cooked numbers. What they aren’t telling you is that this projection assumes that over the next 75 years, the US economy will grow at a far lower rate than it has in the past. (They weren’t expecting us to check the calculations, were they?)

Since 1960, US GDP growth has averaged 3.2%. Even in the decade before the 2007 crash, which included a recession and jobless recovery, GDP growth averaged about 3.0%. However, in creating its publicized projection, the Obama administration assumes that the future US economy will grow at a rate of about 2.1%, much lower even than the 2.9% rate in 2010, which most of us would agree was a tough year for our economy. Even in this very pessimistic projection, Social Security is still able to pay more than 75% of promised benefits after 27 years. (Note that we need about 2.5% growth just to break even with our increasing population.)

And what if the economy stays the same as in 2010, and we continue to lurch forward at 2010’s 2.9% growth rate? The same projection showed that at a 2.9% rate, the Trust fund would remain flush with cash as far as they projected (75 years).

So, unless the US economy is about to get even worse than today and stay that way, Social Security should pay full benefits for our lifetimes and beyond.

If you believe otherwise, then the bad guys have already won: they now have a pretext for stealing you blind in order to “save” you. Remember, Obama’s commission voted for more than $50,000 in lifetime benefit cuts for the average Social Security recipient. Can you afford to give away $50,000 that’s owed to you? I can’t.

It would be great to raise the cap, I suppose, but it’s not needed, and applauding it only gives credence to their big lie that Social Security is in trouble.

For references for all of this, and more information on the plot to steal Social Security, please see my research paper. Here is the section that deals with these projections.

I hope that you’ll join me in working to stop this wholesale grab from working Americans, to fund continued historically-low taxes on the wealthiest. Please don’t feed the lie that Social Security is in trouble…

[Please send this] to friends and loved ones: they need to know what’s being done to them.
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One Comment

“So, unless the US economy is about to get even worse than today and stay that way, Social Security should pay full benefits for our lifetimes and beyond.”

Does the author not understand that is a very real possibility? As a central, bold-face premise, the assumption that it can’t happen is both myopic and sadly ludicrous.

The fate of the Social Security Trust Fund has become the current third rail in our political theatre. Almost everyone has paid something into it at some point – any threats to its integrity feel enormously unfair, and considering the larger context, they are. But much of the damage to our future has already been done, and the juggernaut of Corporate Capitalism continues to power us all towards the brink, largely unchecked. Even the most sincere form of wishful thinking likely won’t change that.

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