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.
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. http://www.justfacts.com/socialsecurity.asp
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