Social Security is a great success

To the Editor:

As the saying goes, “if you repeat a lie often enough people will begin to believe it.” Such is the case with the fears being raised about Social Security going bankrupt because the boomer generation (born 1946-1964) will place too heavy demands on the system as they retire.

Here are the facts:

• The boomers have been paying into the system since they started working in the early 1960s. Much of the money they draw from Social Security is and will be their own money, and they are entitled to it.

• Social Security costs are funded out of its own dedicated revenue stream. It does not and by law cannot borrow money to finance its operations. There is no deficit financing. Social Security is the epitome of old fashioned American frugality!

• Social Security is extremely well managed. The administrative cost is .09 percent. That is, it returns more than 99 cents to beneficiaries on every dollar collected. What private retirement plan can boast of that? Beware of efforts to privatize Social Security!

• At the end of 2010 the Social Security trust fund had a positive balance of $2.6 trillion. From interest earned on the trust fund, its surplus will continue to expand to about $3.67 trillion at the end of 2022. Only then will the balance begin to decline.

• But reserves will still be enough to pay full benefits through 2036, and 77 percent of benefits thereafter. Since when is a program that is completely solvent for 25 years bad news?

• Thus, Social Security is decidedly not going broke! It is the most effective and most responsible government program we have. Contrast it, for example, with the waste, inefficiency and failure to care adequately for our veterans of the Department of Defense!

Doug Wingeier


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