There are so many claims going around about Social Security, along with the fact that it gets conflated with Medicare, a totally separate program, that it is hard to tell the truth from the lies. The truth is that Social Security is one of the most successful government social programs to be enacted. Since its enactment in 1935 by President Franklin Roosevelt, there have been continuous efforts by some to dismantle this social protection for seniors. In the last ten years, the efforts have risen to new levels, especially since the Bush Administration’s efforts to privatize it, followed by new efforts to dismantle the program entirely. This is about the myth vs truth in all the claims.
MYTH: Baby Boomers are creating a strain on the program. TRUTH: The boomers were all born long before 1983 when the Greenspan Commission recommendations were adopted to address the population bubble. Adjustments were made to cover the Boomer situation.
MYTH: The system will not be able to make payments in 2037. TRUTH: Even if the Trust Fund were exhausted in 2037, the tax revenues estimated for that year would still be able to pay 76% of the calculated benefit. Adjusted for inflation and wage gain, this would still be a higher benefit than is paid under the present formula.
MYTH: The only answer is to raise the retirement age to 70. TRUTH: A great majority of workers are in physically demanding jobs that cannot realistically be continued to age 70.
MYTH: Social Security Adds To The Deficit. TRUTH: That statement is not just wrong, it’s impossible. Social Security funds are separate from the budget, and it must pay its own way. It cannot add one penny to the deficit.
These myths are being pounded into Seniors, all in the attempt to make a program they earned sound like more of a gift. Just look at the way some legislators refer to “entitlement programs” as if they were gifts given out by the government,not earned and paid for benefits. Before accepting any statements concerning Social Security, check out the truth. You can find it at the National Alliance For Retired Americans.
- “The Myth of the Wealthy Elderly” (economistsview.typepad.com)
- Breakdown of a Troubled Economy (evotionals.wordpress.com)