Sunday, March 3, 2013

Raise the Age for Social Security and Medicare

Should the age for social security and Medicare be raised in order to take care of the deficit?  Right now, anyone can retire and draw social security at sixty-two, and receive Medicare at sixty-five.  You say we have that right because we paid into these entitlements (I don’t understand why they’re called entitlements) for forty, fifty years, or more.  We’re still paying into Medicare every month as the money is being taken out of social security checks from retirees.

I'm going to focus on social security because this topic is too huge to talk about along with Medicare.  Next week, I'll talk about Medicare.  This topic causes a lot of ill will among young and old, but it's got to be addressed. 

Okay, here goes my feeble attempt to throw some light on this subject to help everyone understand Social Security.  We all pay into social security with our FICA taxes taken monthly, biweekly or weekly.  This money goes into an interest bearing trust fund.  Social security has it's own budget.

At one time the social security trust fund had 2.6 trillion in it paid through payroll taxes.  Since 1982 social security has had excesses from $89 million to $190 million, all loaned to the government.  By 2020, the government will be in debt to social security by 3.1 trillion.  Now, that's huge. 

By law, social security surpluses must be loaned to the federal government, a requirement established in the original Social Security act of 1935. (I didn't know that, did you?)  The federal government is legally required to pay back this money to the social security program with interest, and it supposedly has done so.  (I would like to see the records.)  This money becomes part of the national debt. 

As of December 31, 2011, the U.S. Government owed $2, 679 billion to the trust fund (part of our national debt).  This is the latest information I could find.  There is a lot of information out there, and it's possible I missed something more recent. 

Here are my information sources:  Social Security Trust Fund - Forbes magazine contributor, Merrill Matthews - 7-13-11; Business Finance and Law by Luann PothuisjeODell - a year ago; Just Facts, a resource for independent thinkers by James D. Agresti and Stephen F. Cardone - January 27, 2011, revised 1-12-13.

I welcome all comments, but there will be no attacks here.  This is the time for a healthy discussion on social security, and we all need to know what is going on. 

Thank you for joining in this discussion, and I'll see you next Sunday.  Have a great week.
Sandra K. Marshall


Melissa Keir said...

I agree we need to know about this. At one point, we will all need to use it or have relied on it. Sad that the government has borrowed and not paid it back.

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

No, I don't believe that the age for SS should be raised. I believe our elected officials should do their darn jobs and balance the budget w/o 'stealing' from the voters who put them there. And stop voting themselves raises when they can't even do the job they were elected to do, especially when a vast majority of Americans haven't gotten raises in years. I'm self-employed. I get a pay raise because I do the work and earn it. If I don't do my job, I don't get paid. If I don't have the $ in my bank account for something, and I've reached my budgeted credit limit, I don't buy it. Yes, it really is that simple. Or at least it should be.

Sandy said...

Thank you for your comment, Melissa. Supposedly, they are paying it back, but if they keep borrowing every time Social Security has an excess of funds when does Social Security get it all back?

Sandy said...

I agree with you, Stacey. One other thing I think should be done is change the Social Security Act of 1935 so the government can't borrow from Social Security.

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

I agree, Sandy, that law should be changed.

Sandy said...

Thanks, Stacey. I'm afraid many things need to be changed.

Darlene Arden said...

You've hit the proverbial nail on the head. Thank you for this. I agree with you. Please feel free to share it on my Facebook timeline. More people need to know this.
Warmly, Darlene

Sandy said...

Thanks for stopping by, Darlene. I'm sure there's a lot more to learn if people want to find the facts instead of just mouthing what they hear from people who know nothing.

Marianne Stephens said...

People are living longer and continue to work, so why not raise the Soc Sec age to 65? Maybe in 1935, age 62 seemed "old", but that's not the case now.
Just my 2 cents!

Sandy said...

Thank you for your 2 cents, Marianne. Smile! What about all the people who pay in to Social Security and don't reach 65? I'm not disagreeing with you, Marianne.