- Posted April 24, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Social Security Trust Fund Worse Off than Believed
Bad news for those of us on Social Security or nearing retirement age. There are only 21 years left before the Social Security Trust Fund goes belly up. At least that is the report from the US government on the solvency of the SSTF. It also wasn't too encouraging about the status of Medicare, which still has a life expectancy to only 2024.
That's right, the SSTF is going broke. The fund when established was to have been off the books and out of the reach of Congress. Somewhere along the road a short few decades ago, Congress started doing what it had originally been barred from doing - borrowing from the SSTF to fund on-budget items.
That action coupled with the 2nd year of cuts in payroll taxes by American workers have shaved two years off the timeframe for the SSFT to run out of funds. For Medicare it has stayed constant, but not encouraging.
Yeah, that $40 every 2 weeks extra in the paycheck IF you are making at least $50,000 per year is really stimulating the economy. Little did we know that $40 would actually end up going in the gas tank since gasoline costs soared 40 to 50 cents per gallon around the same time the payroll taxes cut passed Congress and was signed into law by President Barack Obama.
Sarcastic? You bet. And it is not just aimed at the Administration or one party over the other. Congress for decades with complicity from both Democratic and Republican presidents have been allowed to raid the SSFT and ignore fixing failings in Medicare.
How does the song go?
Everybody's talking at me.
I don't hear a word they're saying,
Only the echoes of my mind.
People stopping staring,
I can't see their faces,
Only the shadows of their eyes.
For far too long that seems to be what are elected officials have claimed as their theme song when dealing with the SSFT and Medicare. Everyone would rather play political posturing rather than tackle needed reforms. Everyone would rather ignore the mounting debt and the borrowing from the SSFT than fix what is causing the ever-rising increases.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had this to say when he signed Social Security into law on August 14, 1935:
"Young people have come to wonder what would be their lot when they came to old age."
Sounds like what young people are saying today.
From the Cornfield, Congress needs to cut with all the talk and concentrate on more action.
Protect current recipients of the SSFT and Medicare members, but overhaul and fix what is wrong.
Worried about the election?
Then do what is right for a change...buck the system. Buck the party. Answer to your constituents.
That's the best way to get re-elected.