Protecting the Legacy of Social Security for Future Generations

A diverse group joining hands as a team.Social Security reached a major milestone on August 14 — its 80th birthday. This moment gave all of us the opportunity to celebrate and reflect on the great history and importance of the program to workers and their families. President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law on August 14, 1935, creating a safety net for our most vulnerable citizens, and protecting them from what he eloquently called the “hazards and vicissitudes of life.” Eighty years later, Social Security remains an essential part of the fabric of American life — providing income security for nearly 60 million people across the country today, including seniors, survivors, people with disabilities, and their families.

But, if we don’t take meaningful steps to strengthen the program for future retirees, the Social Security trust funds will run out of money before the program even reaches its 100th birthday. In fact, the Social Security Disability Insurance Program (SSDI) currently doesn’t have enough money to pay full benefits even for the next two years, which is why the Social Security trustees have warned that it “faces an urgent threat of reserve depletion, requiring prompt corrective action by lawmakers if sudden reductions or interruptions in benefit payments are to be avoided.”

Although the retirement program is in somewhat better shape in the near-term, the aging of the population and retirement of the baby boom population is leading to persistent deficits in that program — about $75 billion of deficits in this year alone. Without action, the combined trust funds will likely run out of funds in the early 2030s, leading to an immediate 20 to 30 percent across-the-board cut for all beneficiaries regardless of age or income. We can’t afford to let that happen, which is why lawmakers should work together to reach a bipartisan solution to fix the program’s long-term finances.

Luckily, there are many ways to strengthen Social Security for future beneficiaries. For example, lawmakers could slow the growth of initial benefits for higher earners, adjust the retirement age for growing life expectancy, adopt a more accurate measure of inflation for cost-of-living adjustments, raise the payroll tax rate, or increase the amount of income subject to the payroll tax.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has created an interactive tool, The Reformer, which allows anyone to design a plan that keeps Social Security sustainable for future generations.

Unfortunately, the longer we wait to act, the fewer choices there will be — and the more pain they’ll cause. If we want Social Security to prosper for another 80 years, the time to act is now.

Note: In honor of Labor Day, we have invited Maya MacGuineas and Nancy Altman as  guest bloggers on Social Security Matters.  We thank them for taking the time to share their narratives with our followers and allowing us to showcase the diversity of individuals in support of Social Security on this important holiday. Have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend!


149 thoughts on “Protecting the Legacy of Social Security for Future Generations

  1. I for one am tired of paying into Social Security knowing I will never get anything back out of it. We need to eliminate the program all together. I am very capable of saving and putting my hard earned dollars into a savings account that will guarantee me that I’ll have these funds available to me, when I need them.

    • I guess you have quite an income. Something not everyone has. You probably believe it is their fault for being lazy etc. I hear opinions such as your from wealth 1%’s. Most I know did not make the money themselves. Many inherited it.

      • I’m laughing! This coming from a DR. Kamlay. Know that I’m far from being a in 1%’s class. I would much rather have my weekly deductions put into an account that I will be able to use. Yes I understand the pitfalls to not having the program but there are plenty more pitfalls by keeping it.

        • Have you ever invested in the Stock Market? Because I have. And I am a fairly well-to-do woman because of it–partially because I lived below what I made, and not only invested that which I saved, but because I learned how to survive, and thrive, even, on less. I still do not have some of the possessions many people believe are “necessary” and I do not miss them. Be that as it may, the stock market is not as stable as it once was, the pensions I used to supplement my Social Security no longer exist for those who will be retiring soon, and I was very lucky to have some of the privileges I have. I am grateful for all of these, but there is no way everyone in the United States will be as lucky as I have been. We need Social Security because what you will need at my age is stability. Income stability. You cannot “fend for yourself” when you are older–you just can’t, no matter how well you planned, how healthy you are, or how lucky you have been. People fail. We fall apart–some more quickly than others. You will, too, and when you do, it would be too late for you if all you have is your luck and your talents and your privilege. We need Social Security because we cannot count on luck.

          • Thank You, Catherine for such an eloquent response. I am glad to know that not all Americans have become sociopaths like the original poster to whom you’ve replied. Thank You again.

          • Very well said😀
            I myself am a registered nurse and everyone says how rich we are. Well I am forntunate in 1986 when I found a program that granted me two years worth of college and daycare to get some kind of degree because even back then at 26 I was getting close to prostitution just to by groceries. I help everyone close to me and some strangers when I can and will be happy just to buy a truck to pull a 5th wheel to live in after all is said and done.
            I have learned to live minimally and can’t wait to get out of the hole of working my but off only to have half my wages taxed and possibly never get the help I will need. I’m 59 and I DON’T want to be homeless. I pray to God every day for my health to continue because so many others benefit from the little bits of extra I can give. Selflessness is difficult but doable!

      • very true although an inherited some of money or house does not matter it belongs to whom ever it is left to and ssdi is still payed in by us the working class who pays the gov debts and should be there for us when we really need it and mostly not giving it with no ??? asked to all the undocumented and there after market family that follow after they give birth my opinion .. your a doctor lets just say you graduated from collage 3.5 an A student and the other doctor graduated by the skin of his teeth a C- you both are still called doctors !!!!! right dont let others ignorance and arrogance bring you to there levels………… said with respect (I dont think the person has checked the % return on savings nor cd “s either 1 to maybe if your lucky 1.7%welcome to the world) 🙂 🙂

    • Your’e dreaming. Very few workers have the knowledge or resouces to save and invest the kind of money needed generate the level of income Social Security provides.

    • Regina, you may have the ability to put funds into a savings account now, but what about a few years down the road? What if you get cancer and can no longer work? What if you get disabled and can no longer work? Who’s going to fund your savings account then?

      • Social Security is a safety net – not a savings account – indeed what happens if you have a good income then become disabled and cannot add to your savings account…Some people who have good incomes stop paying social security above $100K. Even those people can become disabled and cannot continue adding to their ‘savings account’! No one has all the answers, however, social security has provide some of the relief for the questions over the 80 years!

        • in home care that is a loved one caring for a mom dad granny and one maybe two private hire CNA nurse i promise you will cost you apox 75,000.00 to 90,000.00 dollars and that my friend is living frugal like the old timers from the great depression of the 20’s and they believed in hording hiding there money and living on peanuts and water that is for real just got done with my dad and mom in laws after 3 1/2 years ripe age of 91 they lived the most calm understanding people one would ever know the BEST for they knew what life is and was not like the SPOILED USA is today it is not owed you must work for it honestly

      • I have EMPHAZYMA on OXYGEN ALL NIGHT & part of the day. I worked my BUTT off paid into SS. I’m unable to work & the BASTARDS keep denying me for SSD & SSI. HELL, I paid into it why CAN’T I get when needed?? I have other problems but, the WORTHLESS SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION tell me I can work & DISSCRIMINATE AGAINST NE DUE NOT 50 yrs old. They don’t UNDERSTAND I take breathing treatments 3-4 times DAILY. COUGHING SPELLS. Cracked 3 ribs on left side & 4 on right side but, they still won’t assist me in anyway. I feel their WORTHLESS. I tried getting jobs & constantly DENIED due the company doesn’t want the RESPONSABILITY of my situation. WHAT THE HELL!!!!

    • It was a socialist policy from the beginning. Sounded great at the beginning, but responsible people can save their own money.We don’t need the government’s interference!

      • Those against social security have been shown good reasons why it is important. If you are disabled, social security is there to help. Many here have shown how important having social security is. Yes, if you can work, then save your money. But if you can’t, then social security is here to fill that need.

      • Government interference? Social Security is funded ONLY by those who work and those who employ them–up to a point. And that point is way, way too low to sustain itself. The uber-rich who make over $117K a year stop paying the excess into Social Security. That cut-off needs to be upped–a lot. That, in and of itself, will fund the Social Security Trust fund for decades, depending on what the cutoff is.

      • Part of the problem is we don’t have enough responsible people, what about all the irresponsible people who don’t save for retirement. Some how, some way, those who are responsible will end up paying for those who aren’t, and I hate to say it, but I believe there are alot of irresponsible people in the U.S.

      • And you would deny the disabled, Bob? I prefer European and Canadian socialism to the barbaric psychopathy of people like you in the United States who have no regard for anyone but themselves. Look up the definition of psychopath. If you have no regard for your fellow humans suffering then you are lacking in empathy and thereby a psychopath. Darwin said that empathy makes us human. What does that make you and Americans like you?
        It’s people like you who make the disabled who count on Social Security terrified of what will happen to them when their parents die because they know they are living amongst a sea of sociopaths-republicans and libertarians.

    • Most people do not make that much that they can save like that especially if they are chronically ill or disabled. When your medical bills are higher than your income, its hard to save.

      • live within your means forfit that beer or dance bar night on the 1st or the 15th of every month PLAN it dont work without one i make a good weekly pay check but i only us one check a month to live and still save from that one what do you want fun and luxury now or a piece of mind and relaxation later you pick

    • How could the SS Trust Fund could ever run out of money? I invested about the same amount in my 401K retirement fund (12%) that the Government confiscated from my pay. I have over one million in my retirement. What did the Government do with the money they took? I can answer my own question; gave it out to non-workers!

      • Congratulations on being a miserable millionaire. I hope you’ve learned that money doesn’t make you happy-look how hateful and bitter you are!

    • Actually your wrong, Social Security will always be around and you’ll get allot more out of social security in money and benefits than you ever paid into it. Yours and my chief complaint is the ultra high Federal Taxes (FICA) that we pay 1/3rd out of our pay checks. In other words for every dollar we make, .33 cents is taken for FICA. Thats where all OUR money’s going.

    • When I was a young man I was always told to plan your retirement around social security. I did that along with some small investments as I could afford them. I am retired now and I am making it OK, but if Social Security wasn’t there it would be a different story. I think there are many things the government can do to prop up the system. I have a friend who is a doctor and his wife was a professor at a local university. They receive a combined 5000.00 a month from Social Security, 2500.00 each. They have made millions in there life time and I am glad for them. But, the question is, do people that have been lucky or that have been financially successful need these benefits after they reach a certain income. In stead of them drawing social security let them take that same amount as a deduction on there taxes. He and I have discussed this option and he would prefer it to receiving the cash.

    • Nice of you to think only of yourself, however there are those who are disabled whose parents PAID into the system so you should grin and bear it and be happy that you are ABLE to work and save money. You will need to continue to contribute whether you like it or not so that we do not live in a sociopathic society only very near to one based on your selfish response.

    • Are you crazy. We need to get rid of the ceiling where they cut off paying into. Everyone needs to pay, no exceptions regardless of whether they have another retirement plan like teachers etc. What you are suggesting is self serving.

    • If you don’t get anything from SS it will be because Congress stole all the money out of the lock box to pay for Tax cuts and unfunded Wars. So quiet crying. get involve, I am sure your GOP tell your rep & Sen hand the hell off.

  2. As a business owner, I feel that corporate America can do a little more as well as individuals. Do not have a cap on the social security wages. It really is a small amount to each and everyone of us, but will go a long way to help build the balance. Also, I strongly believe the Federal government employees (congressman, senators etc.) should all pay into the fund as well. The people of the US are paying their wages, so let them contribute a little of ‘our’ money back in too!

      • There should be only one system and all government workers, Senetors, and, Congressmen should have to pay into the SS. System. They should not have there own which they devised for themselves. If they had to follow the same rules as SS security is for us then they would not mess around with it and for sure they would not let it go under funded.
        One system for all, not the two system, ours and theirs.

        • I have to agree. If our elected reps had to live with the same taxes, health insurance, etc. I’ll bet they’d be pretty unhappy. I worked and paid into SS for 44 years and I’d like to continue to receive it. I worked for some real b*****s and I deserve something for that alone (lol). My complaint is with SS Disability. Between lawyers and liars they’re bleeding the funds. I would love a job exposing that fraud. But even better is to be elected for just one term in DC and leave with govt. health insurance and my same salary. What a deal.

      • I also agree with no cap & congress paying their share. We need to save SS. My husband worked 40 years & lost his job due to bankruptcy. Because of his age, he can not find a job. SS has been a life saver for us! By the way, I’ve been working all my life & I’m still working & it’s hard to save money & pay bills at the same time. I thank GOD for SS & hope it continues to thrive. If we would take all of the illegal collectors of SS off then there should be enough money to pay the honest person.

    • Federal employees do pay into Social Security. The old Federal Pension system was changed in 1984. They have IRA’s like everyone else. lease get up with the year, 2015.

    • I also agree, eliminate the cap completely. all wages and income should be subject to SSA payroll FICA tax. that would solve the entire problem. also congress should by their share.

  3. So many people depend on their Social Security. What reducing payments will do is put the older eople at risk. What are they supposed to do? Go get jobs? Congress should get real….actually learn how most of America lives. I know they are all wealth 1%’s that have no concept of living from check to check. We are governed by the wealthy! Sick.

  4. Please let us senior voters know which Presidential Candidate will work diligently to ensure Social Security is properly funded. Social Security has been a life saver for most seniors. Praise God for all who work to keep us informed about the threat of lack of funding for security of Social Security!!

    Sincerely, Deb

    • Yes, Deb, it’s been a “life-saver” but that was never the intent, was it? Not according to what this article says. You should have saved some money for retirement too, don’t you think? It is totally UNFAIR to the younger workers in this country to have to fund your retirement because you didn’t save enough for yourself. I am not mean-spirited 30 year old. I am 67 and still working and have deferred taking Social Security. The Federal Government has used Social Security Disability as a funding source for unemployment benefits because of the poor condition of our economy. Social Security needs to be phased out and replaced with another form of individual tax-free savings for retirements.

      • Deb, you may have deferred your Social Security, but that means you will actually be drawing more money when you do start drawing. I myself am waiting to start drawing Social Security because:
        1. I’m still healthy & productive
        2. My monthly check will be more and my savings that I’ve accumulated over the past 40 years will last longer.
        3. Over the period of time, I hope to live, I will actually collect more money than if I hadn’t deferred it.
        Yes, I think we should all be responsible for subsidizing our golden years, but social security is a major source of our retirement income.

      • what about the Family Members that worked for years and soon as their time came to retire they passed away never got the ssa..

  5. The one answer to the puzzle confronting funding of SS is NOT to allow efforts to privatize the program and cause the monies deducted from citizen’s wages to be put into any plan involving Wall Street, similar to what happens to 401k deuctions. The Stock Market is too fragile, mercurial, and unstable to which to trust our future financial secutity. The stock market bombs out and takes all the invested mony with it leaving the bemneficiariews with nothing while all the bankers, brokers and financial traders make a killing when the money goes in and then when the market tanks. The simple act of doing away with the taxable wage limit and then slightly increasing the SS tax rate is the way to go. Had Congress not robbed the Reserve Fund for their budgetary general reveue shortfalls, then the fund would still be solvent. Laws must be enacted to stop Congress from robbing the trust fund and substituting unredeemable IOU’s to finance their irregular budgetary shortfalls and “hide the pebble” accounting political schemes.

    • I agree….you cannot trust the government to run anything. How about putting the money that is taken from you and your employer (matching amount) and put it in CD’s or Treasury Bonds or some other “protected” investment vehicle? Had you been able to do that from the beginning, you wouldn’t be worrying about taking money from the rich to ensure that you have a decent retirement. What is wrong with this country is the “entitlement” mentality that has been encouraged by the Federal Government. The chickens are coming home to roost…thus the Social Security Administration is now sending out emails like this to people of retirement age. Let’s get some NEW ideas for providing individual retirement money other than changing the rules of this broken system. I know, I know…’re entitled to get a check for the rest of your life regardless of how much you and your employers contributed during your working life. You should only get back what you put in. How about that for an idea?

  6. You are so right, Sharon. Making the wage limit for all SS Wages would heal a lot of wounds. And you are so wrong Regina, there is no savings account on earth that will provide the same benefit for life that Social Security does.

    • That says it all, Collyn. Social Security is a better deal than you could ever get anywhere else because it’s guaranteed that when the money you contributed runs out, you’ll get other people’s money. Then, what are they supposed to get? Eventually, you run out of other people’s money. It makes no sense and there is no magic about it.

    • That’s funny. If the SS program were so grand and it actually offered security then there would be no need to try and protect it because funds are running out. They are not running low because its not being funded, so where is the cash going? I’d rather keep mine in my own bank thank you!

      • It is running out because of the thieving govt stealing funds FROM IT to pay for wars and salaries. It is a wonderful system and the whole world Europe and Canada and every first world country on Earth has one. The only sociopaths like you Regina, live in America.
        You have no regard for anyone but yourself. WHat a miserable life you must lead. I am rich in friends and loved ones I would rather be rich in love than in money and thankfully most americans are not like you.

  7. The shortfall wouldn’t be happening if the government would have kept their hands off of the
    money. It should have NEVER been touched, it
    was supposed to be kept as a separate entity for
    the people that paid in all their working lives. The
    government keeps dipping into the money and yet
    we are still trillions of dollars in national debt. It
    doesn’t make any sense. STOP IT ALREADY!!

    • The Vietnam War, late 60s to 70s was really when SS funds started to get funneled away and missing. That money was just sitting around so they used it to pay for the war or isbth at time-line a sheer coincidence?

  8. The problem is not the citizen, it’s the government! The Government used SS for there wars, I really don’t understand it? I thought it was in a trust.

  9. While I am on my break at work we were talking about the social security benefits running out. Why should people get benefits if they have not paid into social security for set amount of years or have been a US citizen for longer that 10 years? Everyone is denied disability the first couple of times but one they get past that hurdle they are set for the rest of thier lives. Can’t there be a check done on these people that are drawing disability and living better than the people working to pay in so they can have disability. Disabled people owning companies in other peoples names to avoid losing thier benefits. Not getting married because they don’t want to loose benefits or working full time under the table so they don’t have to report it. People that were to large to work because of back problems having surgury and now they feel great but them and thier kids are still on disability. Someone has a kidney transplant 40+ years ago while still a child and is still drawing off her parents. This person works as a waitress at a full time job then parties. The one kidney works very well!. I could go on all day long about people that do not deserve benefits. Why don’t we set up stiffer laws so not just anyone can get benefits? I do not want to work any longer so these deadbeats can have money. Cut them off so we can retire!

    • You are not necessarily correct with that statement. Yes, there should be a way to check on ones who receive disability and are truly not so. I know many people in my county who receive these benefits for back problems and work 40 plus hours a week lifting dead weight!? and are not caught much less pay into the fund because they
      get paid under the table. I receive SSDI, but I worked 20 years and earned a pension too. I would give my eye teeth if I could work. I tried through the SS “back to work ” program. It was a major hurt for me and crushed my dreams. Eliminate this program, I think not. I
      don’t quality for public assistance, most of us who are truly disabled don’t. Did you know those on disability are allowed to make (not sure now), but back in the 90s could make 900 dollars a month plus disability benefits legally? It’s the SSI funds given to people who have never worked that needs to go. The government provides plenty for these people otherwise.

      • there are people with neurological disabilities who cannot hold a job because they lack mobility, perception, coordination, visual spatial, judgment, but may be very intelligent and can talk abt what they know but cannot do anything. should these people just starve and die? they need ssdi to survive. i think SSI should go as that is welfare. ssdi is for people who tried to work, paid into the system and couldnt keep a job because employers are impatient and the person cannot pass probation on any job. a person like that needs disability payments so they are not on the street corner

    • Thank you for your comment, Vickey. If you suspect fraud, waste or abuse of Social Security benefits we encourage you to report it. Social Security conducts periodic medical reviews to make sure individuals receiving checks are still eligible to get them. The review depends on how severe the individual’s medical condition is and the likelihood it will improve.
      We also have work provisions that can encourage people on disability to return to the work force. These rules make it possible for people with disabilities receiving Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to work and still receive their benefits. For SSI beneficiaries, the law requires them to report their wages monthly, and we monitor their work activity and pay them benefits accordingly. The amount of their SSI benefit is based, in part, on their income and available resources. For more information read our publication Working While Disabled – How We Can Help.

    • Hahaha! You have a really skewed idea of who is on disability. A child who had a kidney transplant 40 years ago. Lady you make trump look less intellectually challenged. You need to get real and come into the real world. People on disability are on it for a reason. Stop inventing things because it conveniences you.
      Torture victims Ptsd victims you think they should work? They can;t even Sleep and God forbid a disabled vet gets triggered and brings a gun to your job then what? You DON’T THINK.

  10. I think SS is used for too many other things that it was originally intended for. I think there are a lot of people that depend on it to make ends meet and I don’t think it should be eliminated. I keep hearing that eventually SS will run out of money, then why don’t they increase the rate, it hasn’t been increased in years. The max has been raised but if the rate were increased a little bit then we all could pay a little more and spread it around, then maybe SS will be there when we all reach retirement age. We all are getting closer everyday.

  11. Simple solution is to remove the SS cap on wages so everyone pays the same percentage. After all, the higher earners get larger benefits. Also all representatives of Congress need to live with the same responsibilities as all Americans and pay their share into the fund and also receive and pay for health care benefits like all Americans. The president is the only person who should not have to pay like the rest of us.

    • The President shouldn’t have to pay Social Security. Are you kidding me? Do you think he’s a poor dirt farmer? You know what’s going to happen if they take the cap off earnings? As soon as they do it and the money starts rolling in, then those same people will be “means tested” to ensure that they will NEVER get any of the money they contributed. This is not a socialist country YET….but we’re getting closer and closer every day. Have you ever talked to a person who lives under a Socialist government? Be careful what you wish for. It never is what you think it is….free stuff for everyone but “rich” people. There is no way the rich people can pay for everything for everyone. Wake up!

      • there are people with neurological disabilities who cannot hold a job because they lack mobility, perception, coordination, visual spatial, judgment, but may be very intelligent and can talk abt what they know but cannot do anything. should these people just starve and die? they need ssdi to survive. i think SSI should go as that is welfare. ssdi is for people who tried to work, paid into the system and couldnt keep a job because employers are impatient and the person cannot pass probation on any job. a person like that needs disability payments so they are not on the street corner

      • Just because you lift the cap does not make the system socialist. I am French and socialism is where everything is universal and there is no market driven system. lifting the cap does not do that. all it does is allow more funds to be slightly more equally distributed. that is not socialism as it will never be completely equal. it just allows everyone to have their fair share so the system does not go broke. it is unfair that people who are rich and can afford more, should pay less than someone who does not have two centimes to rub together

      • Hallelujah you mean we are getting closer to becoming a more civilized socialist democracy like Norway, Sweden, Canada, and Denmark? That’s great! I didn’t know that I don’t have to worry anymore about not being given my disability benefis in the future due to a fascist thieving government then. Thanks for the good news! I wish Bernie Sanders would win then we’d be a lot closer and I wish all the libertarians and republicans would die. Then we’d have a decent country with decent people only and Universal healthcare. Yay! Thanks Suze.

  12. It’s my understanding that two recent Presidents were allowed to ‘borrow’ [i.e., rob] SS to spend elsewhere within the Federal Govt. When will this $$ be returned? And, if Congress and the Senate had to contribute and depend on SS like the common person, the situation would have been resolved long ago.

    • If you think politicians are worried about not getting Social Security, you’re not paying attention to what type of people are in Congress. They don’t need the pittance they would get from Social Security. Politicians aren’t going to fix Social Security because it can’t be fixed. It has to be phased out and replaced with personal savings. Just eliminating the SSA could provide billions of dollars in savings for the taxpayers.

    • Hi Chris. Social Security taxes collected from today’s workers pay the benefits of today’s retirees. Any funds in excess of what is needed to pay today’s benefits are invested in special issue, U.S. Government, interest-bearing securities. This investment – the purchase of U.S. Government securities – is what constitutes the “borrowing” that people are sometimes concerned about. Any funds that have been “borrowed” from the Social Security Trust Funds have always been paid back in full, plus interest. Please check out our Trust Fund Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.
      Also, all members of Congress, the President and Vice President, Federal judges, and most political appointees, were covered under the Social Security program starting in January 1984. They pay into the system just like everyone else.

  13. short comes in life disabled and out of work what is the government suppose to do when funds run out do you put phy.on the street corners to treat there patients or what becomes of us

  14. Hey. I worked for 45 years. I paid into Social security the whole time. I am 66 years old. Who wants to hire an old man? My social security hardly gets me food from one month to the next. Instead of sending BILLIONS over seas. I don’t mind helping others! How about a RAISE for us.

  15. Hey. I worked for 45 years. I don’t get enough to last from month to month. Instead of sending BILLIONS over seas and letting the illegals draw our money. How about a RAISE. I can’t live off of a one percent raise whenever they decide to give us one.

  16. As someone who has practiced Disability law for almost 30 years I can assure you that the financially healthiest individuals face crushing debt when disability prevents them from working. And for those of you who are unaware of the Republican rule changes due to go into effect in 2016 which will result in a roughly 20 % cut in SSD benefits I invite you to do some research. I also remind those with short memories to think back to the economic collapse of 2008 and the very recent near collapse of European and Asian markets which have caused horrific losses to many of our citizens. So when you think of privatizing Social Security funds please see very clearly that the same foxes in charge of the henhouse in 2008 and again more recently in the global markets will be thrilled to take your life long savings and pillage the only system that has stayed consistent for decades. And a reminder that the SS Fund has been borrowed against to decrease deficits on other parts of the budget for years. If we want to completely destroy the only reliable safety net for the elderly and the disabled we will eviscerate our entire economy. As someone who is a high wage earner (mostly from the insurance part of my practice) I would gladly pay FICA taxes on my full salary and not cap it at some arbitrary figure. Trust me, our economy, and our moral compass, depend on sustaining Social Security benefits.

  17. It is time that all funds go in and no loans come out. This money is supposed to be used for the benefit of those who are getting social security and not to use for everything under the sun. If the funds were used correctly this would not be happening.This is not supposed to be used as a slush fund!

  18. Great comments from everyone. The government stole the funds paid into social security by hard working individuals. Social security should be for individuals that have paid for it over a life time. My husband and I paid into social security for over 30 to 50 years. We deserve to collect what we paid into it. I agree that if you are earning a good income now but qualify for SS there should be restrictions and limits. Also for those that have only paid into it for a short time.

  19. Has anybody actually looked at their Social Security Benefits Statement? I know I’ve paid in less in 40 years of working than what I will gain back in payments. Even if I had invested that money over the last 40 years, it is doubtful that I would have ever earned the amount of money that Social Security will be paying me on a monthly basis once I retire. Granted there is always the chance that I won’t live 25 years and there isn’t any death benefits, but I’m more concerned about my time while I’m here, than my grown family once I’m gone.

  20. Social Security Amendment of 2016

    Free Disability Insurance Reallocation Tax (DIRT) Act

    To immediately amend the DI tax rate from 1.80% to 2.30%, from 0.90% to 1.15% for employees and from 0.90% to 1.15% for employers under Sec. 201(b)(1)(S) of the Social Security Act 42USC(7)II§401 and amend the OASI tax rate from 10.60% to 10.10%, from 5.30% to 5.05% for employees under 26USC(C)(21)(A)§3101 (a) and from 5.30% to 5.05% for employers under 26USC(C)(21)(A)§3111 (a) to avoid depletion of the Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund in 2016 without increasing the overall 12.4% OASDI or 15.3% OASDI and Hospital Insurance (HI) tax-rate under 26USC(A)(2)§1401 beginning October 1, 2015.

    To amend the DI tax rate again in 2018 to 2.20% from 2.30%, from 1.15% to 1.10% for employees and from 1.15% to 1.10% for employers under Sec. 201(b)(1)(S) of the Social Security Act 42USC(7)II§401 and amend the OASI tax rate from 10.10% to 10.20%, from 5.05% to 5.10% for employees under 26USC(C)(21)(A)§3101 (a) and from 5.05% to 5.10% for employers under 26USC(C)(21)(A)§3111 (a) without increasing the overall 12.4% OASDI or 15.3% OASDI and Hospital Insurance (HI) tax-rate under 26USC(A)(2)§1401 to maximize efficiency until a deficit appears in the OASI Trust Fund in 2019.

    Without Income Limit Law (WILL) Act

    To abolish the maximum taxable limit on DI contributions on January 1, 2016 and OASI contributions January 1, 2017 and repeal Adjustment of the contribution and benefit base Section 230 of the Social Security Act 42USC(7)§430.

    To require the Social Security Administration to pay for SSI Costs beginning January 1, 2017.

    To share profits in excess of social security program costs to the general fund of the U.S Treasury on a sliding scale beginning year end 2016 DI 50/50 with the USPS, and OASI 10/90 to eliminate the federal budget deficit. In 2020 OASI would share at negotiated rates an estimated 25/75, by 2025 OASDI would share 50/50 and by 2030 OASDI would save to pay for the peak in costs of Baby Boomer generation in 2035 that might raise the overall OASDI tax rate from 12.4%.

    PS I have not completely worked Altman, Nancy J.; Kingson, Eric R. Social Security Works! Why Social Security Isn’t Going Broke and How Expanding it Will Help Us All. The New Press. New York. London. 2015’s into the supporting documents because I was afraid of just such a hostile takeover by Harvard IP without a care for the library fines for abusers of copyright privileges. While Nancy may be able to deny DI distracted SSI petitioners, who haven’t been working for the past ten years, does this Harvard infringement on Social Security Matters constitute discrimination against disability, and generation x as her unsupported plea to avoid conviction for deprivation of relief benefits does in her book and its plans are conflicts of interest with federal process. Some of Nancy’s rhetoric is good, or at least up to date, but her plans fall into the lowest common denominator of Congress that constitutes a conflict of interest because SSA is engaged in a peculiar bureaucratic fascination with crumpled pieces of paper while they formally ignore and fail to do the work to arrive at the true answer to the Actuaries negligence that lies before them now, or the way wherewithal to file for SSI burdens the self-educated individual, for that matter. SSA has an Actuary, Commissioner and Treasurer (ACT). SSA cannot just run off with a Harvard plagiarist from a couping library due to conflict of interest law. Can the homo sapiens in this Ivy League conflict of interest agree that my Social Security Amendment of 2016 is right and that Congress should pass it now that they have returned from their holiday and before the end of FY 2015 on September 31, 2015. The mathematics are law done in the 9th edition of Health and Welfare that also balances the federal budget. The just thing to do is tax the rich. SSA and the OMB Director however have a responsibility to account for it and their complete existence has become a state of discriminatory rebellion against the more accurate and just HA accounting. SSA (the Actuary) must perform the FICA tax rate calculation to solve the current DI crisis at no cost to anyone, for free, as a moral prerequisite for taxing the rich and Congress roughly $1,300 in 2016 and $6,500 in 2017. It is however a horrendously difficult equation that takes a week the first time and fondly known by FDR loyalists as the “pain in the OASDI tax rate calculation”. The tax rate must be passed October 1, 2015 for FY 2016 to avoid depleting the DI trust fund without ruining the Actuaries reputation upon which we are first reliant upon for the OASDI tax on the rich almost everyone knows to be solution before the fraudulent accounting of the OMB Director discriminating against HA might delay the implementation of the full OASDI tax and perpetuate a partial state of DI taxation without income limit that pays for the USPS and helps the DI trust fund to save.

    RE: Health and Welfare. 9th Ed. Hospitals & Asylums HA-26-7-15

  21. If congress and President would repay Social Security Administration what they have taken since Ronald Reagan to now SSA, SSI would have the BILLIONS OF DOLLARS on hand. And SSA was not for balanceing the bugget because they give millions to special interest programs. Social Security is NOT PART OF THE FEDERAL BUDGET. THAT IS THE BIGGEST LIE TOLD BY CONGRESS. NOR IS MEDICARE. THAT IS WHY WE PAY FOR IT SEPARATE.

  22. Really, do away with Social Security! I’m 60 and have paid into social security since I was 16 to “help” support me when I retire. I have other savings too but who knows how much will be enough. I know people who never paid into Social Security who receive benefits more controls are probably needed but what I don’t know. I don’t look at my benefits like my children are paying for my retirement. I will be drawing the money I invested. Am I supposed to start over at age 60! I wonder what percentage of young people just getting started would opt out of social security if they had the option and how many who opted out would be looking to the government for help when they are my age. PLEASE stopping diverting social security funds and giving it away and take steps to make it sound again – I’m tired of the threats. . . Still working toward tomorrow!

  23. Has anyone considered cracking down on fraud. How many millions are being sent to dead people? Clean up the recipient list and secure a longer life of the social security funds.

    • Hi Carl, thank you for your concern. We take allegations of fraud very seriously. If you suspect fraud, waste or abuse of Social Security benefits, we encourage you to report it.

  24. The easiest fix is to put the money back in the lock box. Do not let the politicians get their hands on it. It was flush and would be today if it was not for Johnson. But once again the only fix is to take back control of the fund and quit using it for everything but Social Security.

      • Thanks for your comment. When a person dies, family members may be eligible for Survivors Benefits based on the deceased worker’s earnings. If a person dies and there are no eligible survivors, any unused money goes to the Social Security trust funds.



    OH YES!!!


  26. I have a few points to add to all the comments of what all is wrong with the current system. My surgeon was reaching retirement age and said he was told he Had to draw his social security. He said he didn’t need it and wished he had a choice in the matter.
    Second point: In the County I live in it is common practice for former and current drug users to fake mental problems or threaten to harm themselves and the governments cure is to give them a check. These are young people in their 20’s, who are just starting out and could be productive citizens but choose to let the government and you and I support them.
    One last thing, there needs to be random checks on persons already drawing ss disability as I know several people who claim they can’t work and their holding down jobs and collecting under the table.
    How about all the checks being sent out to people that are deceased, yes it happens, and someone is cashing the checks or if it’s auto deposit, someone is using that money!

  27. I have to laugh at those that think Social Security should be eliminated and that conscious people can do their own savings for retirement. That’s easy to say, but the fact is people will not save enough or not at all. President Roosevelt implemented a tremendous program back in the 30’s by this SS program. It forced people to save. I can personally say that when I was young I didn’t think of growing old and wondering where money would be coming from. Thank God, I have Social Security now, because with only my small retirement pension and some typical savings, I would be in the bread line. To me SS is a very easy program to fix if our leaders in Washington would just get in a room, work together, and create a viable plan for the future. It just needs a little tweaking, like getting rid of the cap would be the biggest benefit. Why should those making over 118.5K stop contributing? That’s where the majority of contributions dollars are lost. Also, our politician should have some “skin in the game”, thus they too should contribute. What incentives do they have to protect this wonderful program. Come on Washington, lets get with it and tweak this system to ensure that our children and grandchildren are able to enjoy old age without being strapped. If Washington cannot tweak Social Security it is not much wonder why major problems are not addressed and resolved. Thank you for listening.

    • Gregg, something that might interest you is just how much a low income person could save in 45 years. Let’s assume a 20 year old started saving just $10.00 per week (forgo 2 packs of cigarettes) in an investment account (accounts are available for individuals with only modest means to invest small amounts without penalty) and let’s also assume the money invested would earn an average of only 3%. At the ripe old age of 65, that individual would have accumulated $1,343,800.95 through contributions and compounding returns at 3%. The key to success is getting started early. It takes very little money, if you start saving early in life, to accumulate a substantial savings for future needs. Social security and disability is certainly a safety net but Social Security was never meant to provide a total retirement income and disability will never replace a well paying job- -but both help. It is still each individuals responsibility to plan and save for their own golden years.

      One major obstacle to individual financial success and independence is a lack of knowledge in the general population. Think back to when you attended school. Someone may have taught you a skill that would allow you to make a living wage but do you recall anyone ever explaining the magic of compounding rates of return on invested money. Did anyone ever encourage you to save and tell you how to get started? I doubt you received those instructions and neither did I. Unfortunately, opportunities are available that most never learn until they are out of time to make a difference. However, thanks to the internet, all the information anyone needs to get on the road to financial independence is readily available to them and in great detail.

      So, if you’re physically or mentally incapable of working, you deserve help from your fellow citizens. If you’re capable of working, you have that right and obligation to fend for yourself but, do it smarter. Take the time to learn about your options and invest in your future so government aid will not be such a major part of your retirement plans.

      • Can you tell me about one of those accounts? I am on disability and I could save 100 a month or a little more and I would like to but i have a Master’s degree and no practical financial knowledge and I am trying to learn but the information is overwhelming.Where do I put the extra 100 per month what investment funds are there for poor people with little money?

      • You probably came from a rich family. If anyone thinks Young people even up to the age of 30 even think of their mortality let alone just put food in their kids mouths nor do we think we will ever live that long. Wishful thinking but with how much rents have gone up recently I have no doubt people are going to have to be living with other family, friends, or homelessness. You get real if you think most 20 year olds are going to have money in a bank account etc and not touch it for some kind of emergency (such as eating or rent) let alone be able to fix their teeth and truly understand what it takes now days just to survive.
        Get realistic.😀

  28. Social Security was created to meet a social need. Anyone who thinks “they could do better on their own” or “it’s Socialist” are fooling themselves or watching too much Fox “news.” As you get older things tend to fall apart and no matter what skills you might have the young are in more demand. When you consider how the stock market has been behaving the last 15 years, only a fool or the wealthy would throw those kind of dice.

    In general, young folks think they have the world by the tail and don’t need anything like a social support system. Wish I could be a fly on the wall when they hit 65 and get a dose of reality.


    • Social Security is a benefit we all need to support, strengthen and protect now and in the future. Let’s stop pointing fingers and start growing and preserving it.

    • Amen brother. I could take care of myself better if my young ones had a chance at being able to afford gas to get to a minimum wage job. As much as a parent can offer (or scream) advice about college education and how hard it’s going to get without money the reality is the life of hard knocks. Although when small grandchildren are the victims of homelessness that’s where I draw my own line.
      I’m ashamed to admit but because I give others a boost just to keep them off the streets, depressed, or for hopelessness I am depending on the social security I have been aying in for for the 48 years I have contributed to this system and not by choice, it’s mandatory and now it’s spent. Now what. Heard all us baby boomers into a mass grave called 55+ parks? Haha
      Actually, that sounds even too much money as the parks keep wanting more and more lot rent but the residents are on fixed incomes already. There has to be some very smart and caring individuals with decent solutions and who will lead our country ,our cities, or communities in a feasable and fair program where everyone has to contribute to the good of all. I’m game, I have been doing that in my own way all my life and I know I’m not alone. Let’s speak up about ANY solutions for homelessness,etc that we can. Check out utube under mini homes for the homeless and take that just a bit further to include new and just communities of people who can rely on each other to do their parts. Just saying

  29. As we all know, our employer matches our SS & MC contributions for a total of 15.3% on before tax earnings. Note that your employer pays because they need your services, therefore it is compensation for your work product. By my arithmetic, translating this to after tax earnings, the effective percentage contribution is greater, perhaps 20 to 25% depending on income. In simple terms, if you are working legitimately, for every dollar you spend, a couple of dimes to a quarter funds this program. Please help me understand why these programs are underfunded?

  30. Is the purpose NOT to pay the donors of this program because I have three friends who died in their 50s this year and NEVER received their share. It is said that the rich live into their nineties and beyond, therefore they get to collect longer while the poorer have an early death. How about the government put back all the contributions that were stolen from the program? By the way, my mom died at 68 and my sister at 66. They did not see longevity in their lives.

    • Thanks for your comment. When a person dies, family members may be eligible for Survivors Benefits based on the deceased worker’s earnings. If a person dies and there are no eligible survivors, any unused money goes to the Social Security trust funds.

  31. This was actually a good discussion. As a former Social Security claims representive, I am happy to see that many people do understand the issues Involved fairly well. For the rest, I only advise them to make sure their opinions are based on facts, not just personal opinion.

    • I would like to know these also. Anyone have a reasonable answer that doesn’t already have a vested interest not to pay such as the rich!
      More money for those who escape the taxes.
      By the way, isn’t it personal opinion we all share! Free speech and all.

  32. I will repeat a comment I made because I don’t see it on the blog. I have four friends who died in their 50s. my mom died at 68 and my sister just died at 66. We don’t have longevity in my family. Although, there are certain members of the upper class who live into their 90s because of improved health care. These things should be taken into consideration! Don’t raise the age, shore it up!

  33. I see that as always, people want it all for themselves and not the other guy. What we need is a 2 cent increase in SS taxes and an 2 year increase in future time for all. From 68 years old to 70 years old, keeping the early retirement in place. Medicare takes 80% of my SS payment.

  34. I’ve become interested since reading an article in the NYT about the link between a brain disorder I have and bacteria in the gut (Cavernous Malformation Syndrome). Are there different ways to heal the gut/heal the brain depending on one’s specific brain/biome? Or should I just eat gut healthy food?

  35. Roger mark Botbyl Jr 2430 hall ave #109 marionette WI 54143 (715)330-8722 Roger Herr I’m going to keep this short and sweet I have through my own studies have found out two different ways to make social security and ssdi profitable first was I had a political advisor not to disclose who yet read just the basics and initial principals of my ingenious formula divoliging 40% of concept at hand the other 60% I kept confidential for my own intellectual property rights but will if need be divouldge second way I had thought of about 8-10 months ago but memory is shaken so common knowledge is basic but once again if made a necessity I could remember the avenues of making money and grasping great wealth is endless I try not to think out loud so to speak for all this info is highly confidential it could even esuculate enough to help balance the budget and to get me greatly indepth with such work the possibilities are endless also thought of taking this out of this country and applying it to all countries for a substantial gain or influx of great profits if I decided to keep it here as in the USA in which are is ultimately my achievable goal depends on how I’m treated I entrusted just enough people so far but I I find out corruption is at is utmost and my relevance means little than the out come won’t be profitable for the USA but on the flip side keep my ideas and thoughts here being that most are outside the box and that can’t be taught kinda like being a visionary it’s something your born with or into just imagine letting social security have it’s home base in the USA for the and all countries abroad it’s getting to be the end of the fiscal year so let’s see what we can do in the country I call home for the years to come and over come bringing America to be number 1 good day god bless I’ll be waiting a response don’t hesitate to for my mood changes daily and so far congressmen Mike Gallagher district north eastern Wisconsin has not made anything worth my while yet or responded other than secretary based email response for that I question why and I’m leave that as such good day god bless I’ll be patiently waiting a response and will wait until better outcome is made available my studies are never ending and my genius never outnumbered so I’m up for the challenge and love to help

  36. President Reagan strengthened social security by increasing the premiums and delaying the retirement date for one to two years; it is now at age 66 and has been for several years, and is increasing to 67 by accumulating increases. Congress has spent it and seems to be trying to fob retirees off by saying they cannot afford it. They don’t pay it; the people paid it and it has been in surplus for years; we were good until at least 2037 by the admission of the SSA.

    President Obama gave people a ‘tax holiday’ not requiring FICA payments from workers to be made which seemed guaranteed to reduce the amount being paid in, and then stopped paying out any cola at all. He also changed the formula for assessing the cola removing the most basic items the retired have to pay, that is to say groceries and gas and medical costs.

    Retirees paid, with their employers, 12.8 percent of their income (half covered by their employer) and paid it for decades since the 1980’s (before Mr Reagan it was a little less). This was a huge premium and it was all taxed at the expense of the worker at the time it was deducted. What is the cola for this year and how does the SSA plan to make up for the years when they received nothing and next to nothing under Obama? When will the cola again reflect the true cost of living without deducting the majority of the spending needs of seniors?

  37. It appears that the people making decisions to “borrow” and never repay what they borrow(government) are capitalists that could care less about the people and only lining their own pockets. Why will it matter to the millionaires and billionaires that Social Security dies, they have all that could never spend in a lifetime or several lifetimes. Our history will show future generations, if we survive mother nature and the government, that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and the middle majority will be the work horses until we break. Yep, life isn’t fair. What a poor excuse. If everyone paid the same % of taxes without all the tax shelters for the rich and greedy our America would work in a fairness and equalality for all that has the potential to lift spirits, increase poor mental health and anxiety about being a couple paychecks from homelessness that so many of us realize. It’s not about working more it’s about working smarter and together. What a concept that is lost on the greedy.

  38. Dear sr 

    First think you for your help and I wish the best news for you, for other reasons I have something very important for me to complete my information about my Retirement benefit how it’s I make plans for my retirement and my father’s SSN Veterans and how much I ll get from social security. Can also create a personal account and request ther social security statement to review my SSN account and SSN card number in my account for my future life and for  family, and I need you to help me and give me more information about my future life and my SSN information to claim my credit report and account bank .


    The second thing I try to contact the transunion and EQUIFAX and experian customer service and I was calling them several times to asking them to give me my credit report for my bank of America account and my AMERICAN Express credit card. 

    but they never send it to me, 






    Best reagards

    Mohammed Giyash 


    • I need your help sr please and give me more information about my future life and my credit report for my future life and my Veterans affairs and Retirement

Leave a Reply - (comment policy)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *