One More Time – MYTHS About Social Security

Jul 5th, 2011 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Social Security & Medicare

Fear-Mongering Myths

We’ve said this before, but sometimes people need a second (or third) rap on the head to understand reality.  So let’s look at Social Security Mythology again… there are two big ones out there that need to be exposed.

  1. Some in this world still believe Social Security is going broke.  That – just – is – not – true.  Not true.  The reality is that there are some funding issues that need to be addressed to ensure adequate funding for promised benefits.  But that does not translate to ‘going broke’. If no changes are made in Social Security, some promised benefits may have to be reduced in 2037. That does not translate to ‘going broke’.  Several possible options are being considered by our representatives in Congress, including removing the $106,800 cap on payroll taxes (something SCJ has historically supported).  If people who make more than $106,800 paid their fair share of payroll taxes, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.
  2. The second myth has to do with the Social Security Trust Fund.  Some people still believe, and report, that the Trust Fund is worthless.  Well, are Treasury Notes worthless?  No. Treasury Notes and Federal Bonds in the Trust Fund are essentially the same instrument.  The Trust Fund has loaned its assets to the Federal Government, and the Fed is on the hook to pay it back.  That’s the real issue here… so the question needs to be, how is the Fed going to pay back the money it owes to the Social Security Trust Fund.  Our legislators have been spending money loaned by the Trust Fund without much regard for how they intend to pay it back.  Not smart.

Politicians Try To Frighten Senior Citizens With Lies

Social Security Mythology depends on scare tactics to get us seniors to believe something that is not true.  If we’re afraid we will lose our monthly benefits either from the ‘going broke myth’ or the ‘worthless Trust Fund myth’, our elected officials can get us to agree to reducing our benefits to ‘save’ a program that doesn’t need to be saved.  All because they don’t want to require wealthy Americans to pay their fair share of taxes.

The answer is simple.  Educate yourself. Ask the hard questions. And then be sure to vote the next time your senators and representatives are up for election.  The Social Security Program does not need changing.  The payroll tax ceiling needs to be lifted.  Be sure you vote for whomever understands these two simple truths.



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  1. [...] I have been paying Social Security taxes for 48 YEARS (since I was 15 years old. I am now [...]

  2. [...] being told and sold the idea that they will never collect on their investment in social security.  SCJ has been writing for a year now about how Social Security can be preserved for future generation… Erosion of confidence, not unlike the washing away of soil, is a sure fire indicator that something [...]

  3. [...] Senior Citizen Journal reported in numerous articles last year the solution to ensuring the stability of the Social Security and Disability programs.  There is currently a ‘ceiling’ on taxable wages; payroll taxes stop when the ceiling is reached.  In 2012, the ceiling is $110,100. Take a look at the Wikipedia example here.  The heart of the issue is this: [...]

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