Five Facts About Social Security

I’ll say it once again: Social Security is a fundamental source of retirement money for millions of Americans every month. To the extent those of us receiving money from the system want and need it to continue, we represent a massive voting block to make sure it continues to benefit us as before.

My source for these five facts about Social Security are from a news feed I saw which I then copied and sent to my email account. Unlike most such things I find on a daily basis, this was not written out but was a short video. I have no idea who created it.

Rather than list the five facts, here is the link that appeared in my inbox:   According to the Los Angeles Times, it was originally published on December 4, 2017.

There is always a lot of blather in the news about whether Social Security will still be around after 2035 when the current pool of money in the Trust will be exhausted.

There’s increased talk about how the GOP wants to gut the system and have it simply go away. That’s just smoke to create confusion about some other issue they don’t want to deal with. It’s not going away.

If no changes are made, when it becomes exhausted, those receiving benefits will have their amounts reduced because the only source of those benefits are from the money that continues to come into the system from FICA taxes. Those are the amounts that are withheld from paychecks that go into the Social Security system.

The last major change to the system came in 1983, 36 years ago. The primary changes made then were to increase the % of the FICA tax and to increase the upper limit of income to which the FICA tax applied.

When those changes were made, there was hue and cry about how it would bankrupt small business owners and cause financial pain across the nation. A few months later no one noticed it. It’s been working fine ever since. But it has to reach a crisis point before anyone in Washington has the political will to effect a similar change.

Actually, this time I’m thinking we’ll probably not increase the % but significantly increase the income threshold for continuing to pay into the system. Right now the threshold is almost comically low, despite there now being a small annual increase.

Just don’t hold your breath because those changes are not likely to happen before another ten years pass and it’s 2029. That’s because no Senator without six years or less to run after their most recent election is going to give a damn about it. By then there may be 70 million recipients/voters or more, and they will be pissed if the system is not brought up to date.

Tony Kendzior \ September 12, 2019