Letter: Social Security is successful
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Political action responsive to 99 percent of American households is needed to fix Social Security. Social Security has a $2.6 trillion surplus (http://www.ssa.gov/oact/STATS/table4a3.html). The Social Security Administration has never missed a payment, and will continue paying its obligations for another 25 years to 2036, after which time it will pay out 80 percent if we do absolutely nothing.
In the 1980s, it was foreseen that payments to the baby boom generation would require additional funds. Therefore, the Reagan Administration doubled the Social Security payroll tax and created the Social Security Trust Fund. They invested the Trust Fund in the safest financial instrument, U.S. government treasuries, where today a $2.6 trillion surplus collects interest, and is starting to pay out to retirees and the disabled who qualify, as planned.
Conservative politicians today try to conflate Social Security with deficit spending, because from their ideological bent they want it either privatized to benefit the Wall Street 1 percent or eliminated altogether.
Social Security is arguably the most successful government program ever enacted, is paid for 100 percent by employee and employer contributions, has never missed a payment, and runs a $2.6 trillion surplus. Raise the payroll tax cap from $106,500 on incomes in excess of $1 million and it is fixed into perpetuity.
Joseph M. George