Probably one of the most controversial programs in the United States is Social Security.
This program, created by President Roosevelt in 1935, has been considered one of the biggest burdens on the tax payer. Originally meant to alleviate the struggles Americans faced when reaching retirement age, the program itself is now struggling.
Attempts at reform by previous Presidents have failed. Meanwhile more and more Americans are retiring, living longer, and drawing more from this program.
Which makes it not at all surprising that the program just reached a new milestone.
From CNS News:
In fiscal 2017, real Social Security Administration spending topped $1 trillion for the first time, according data published in the Monthly Treasury Statement.
The Social Security Administration spent a total $1,000,812,000,000 in fiscal 2017, according to the Treasury.
That was about 37 times as much as the Department of State spent during the year ($27,061,000,000), 32 times as much as the Department of Justice ($30,977,000,000), and 20 times as much as the Department of Homeland Security ($50,502,000,000)…
In a statement to CNSNews.com, the Social Security Administration acknowledged that the combined spending for the Social Security program (Old Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance) and the Supplemental Security Income program did exceed $1 trillion in fiscal 2017, but that spending for the Social Security program alone did not reach that level during the year. SSA noted that its latest trustees report projects that spending on the Social Security program alone will top $1 trillion in fiscal 2019.
Attempts by Presidents and lawmakers to scale back Social Security benefits have always failed. Under Obama, payout increases slowed, but large reforms were neglected.
It’s a difficult nut to crack, to be sure. Millions of Americans, over the course of their entire lifetime, “paid into” the program through taxes on their income. It was their understanding that when they retired, they could count on that support. A kind of security for their old age.
Yet the tax they paid during their work lives went to cover expenses for people on the program at that time. The government doesn’t save money very well. Money goes out as quickly as it comes in. In fact, the government is very good at spending cash it doesn’t have (hence, the deficit). Leading many people to consider SS as an entitlement program, rather than something people have earned.
But you can’t erase the fact that Social Security spent more money that just about every other government entity (aside from Department of Health and Human Services, i.e.: government funded health programs). That money’s got to come from somewhere. And as more Baby Boomers retire, the burden will grow. Considering the slow pace of salaries and the trend for jobs to be outsourced overseas, where is the Social Security Administration going to get the money?
What do you think? Is Social Security doomed? Do you think it is an entitlement program or something Americans earned over their lifetimes? Tell us what you think.
Source: CNS News