Social Security proposes “immediate and permanent reduction” in benefits

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by Simon Black

On a deep, dark evening last June in the spectacularly celestial deserts of northern Chile, scientists made a phenomenal discovery.
It was a supernova… one that they named ASASSN-15lh.
This wasn’t just any supernova. It was the BIGGEST and BRIGHTEST supernova ever recorded.
Supernovas are exploding stars whose ejected mass and energy can create a light show so brilliant that they can sometimes be seen with the naked eye in our own night sky.
At its most luminous, ASASSN-15lh was over 500 BILLION times brighter than our own sun, and FAR greater than the previous record holder.
This is so bright that, according to one of the lead researchers, if it had been located within our own galaxy there would have been no darkness on earth for weeks.
Fortunately for us, ASASSN-15lh was from a galaxy far, far away– 3.8 BILLION light years away. So its intensity didn’t have much of an effect on Planet Earth.
Of course, such a prodigious distance also means that ASASSN-15lh actually went supernova 3.8 billion years ago.
The star was so far away from our planet that it took billions of years for the light from the supernova to reach us.
It’s mind boggling to think about. But in a way, the same can be said of many of the financial risks that we face.
Consider the exploding star of Social Security, one of the largest and most important pension programs in the world.
Literally tens of millions of people depend on it.
The Social Security Administration itself reports that 62% of recipients rely on the program for at least HALF of their income.
And further research by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) shows that, without Social Security, 22.1 million Americans would fall below the poverty line.
Needless to say, major cuts to the program would have nuclear effects.
And yet, year after year, the Social Security Board of Trustees publishes an annual report that describes the program’s terminal financial challenges in excruciating detail.
They mince no words in plainly stating that Social Security pays out far too much money, and takes in far too little.
According to the 2017 Trustees report, “Trust Fund reserves become depleted in 2035.”
They’re practically giving us a date that we can circle on a calendar and mark “End of Social Security.”
The Trustees go on to lightly propose solutions, including an “immediate and permanent reduction” in benefits to all current and future Social Security recipients.”
And in case you’re wondering who these whack-job Trustees are, they include the Treasury Secretary of the United States, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the Secretary of Labor.
These aren’t just random people.
We’re talking about politicians at the highest levels of government who are telling us that Social Security is running out of money… and calling for an immediate and permanent cut in benefits.
Given the tens of millions of people who depend on the program, the consequences of either scenario would be catastrophic.
Sadly, this is not a new problem. The Trustees have been screaming for years that Social Security’s finances are unsustainable.
Yet year after year, the problem was ignored… which brings the end-game one year closer, and the ultimate solution that much more painful.
That’s what makes Social Security a gigantic supernova.
The star exploded years ago. But it will take until 2035 for everyone to realize it… though frankly it could be sooner than that.
People are living longer than ever before– the average life expectancy in the US is a full EIGHTEEN YEARS longer than it was when Social Security was conceived back in the 1930s.
This means that Social Security will have to pay out more money to more recipients for much longer than they’ve ever had to pay before.
This will be an enormous cost to the program.
Simultaneously, despite all the celebration of the low unemployment rate in the US, the Labor Force Participation Rate is still near a multi-decade low.
This means that there are fewer people in the work force who are actually paying in to the Social Security System.
According to its own projections, Social Security requires 3 employed workers to support one retiree.
And they watch this worker-to-beneficiary ratio very closely.
In 2010 it dipped below 3 for the first time, and in 2013 hit 2.8. The Trustees’ projections show it will continue to fall, to as low as 2.2.
So if you look at the big picture, a growing number of beneficiaries is being supported by a declining number of workers.
This isn’t rocket science– it’s pretty obvious what’s going to happen.
Yet the collective response is to simply ignore the problem… or outright refuse to believe it, as if this is some crazy conspiracy theory.
This isn’t a theory.
It’s simple arithmetic based on government data, backed by the same conclusions reached by the Treasury Secretary of the United States.
Now, the bad news is that none of us can actually fix Social Security.
And we sure as heck can’t convince someone to prepare for a problem that they refuse to acknowledge.
But we can easily do something about it ourselves.
After all, this is one of those MAJOR problems we’ve been talking about– and one that can easily be avoided.
The good news is that many of the solutions haven’t changed with the new tax law.
You can still establish, for example, certain self-directed IRA structures or a solo 401(k).
These structures not only dramatically increase your contribution limits (to more than $50,000 annually), but also vastly expand the universe of investment options– real estate, cryptocurrency, private equity, etc.
So ultimately you could save more, and earn more, for your retirement.
The Social Security star has already exploded. But it will take the light another 15+ years to reach us.
That’s plenty of time to prepare for anyone with the right education and the will to act.

11 thoughts on “Social Security proposes “immediate and permanent reduction” in benefits

  1. Let’s do the End of Welfare for Israel and other countries, and domestic welfare for foreigners, illegal, especially First! S.S. WAS STOLEN AT GUNPOINT WITH THE PROMISE/CONTRACT IT WOULD BE there upon retirement! ‘Nuff said!

  2. TAKE the pensions, assets, and benefits from ALL Congressmen, Presidents, SCOTUS judges.
    If that does not fill the gap, TAKE their personal money …. THEY did this.
    Social Security is NOT an “entitlement”
    Social Security is the Private PROPERTY of the Workers that PAID for it.
    Social Security is a TONTINE, a TRUST FUND.. American workers pay into it their entire lives through payroll deductions. Social Security payments are supposed to come from that fund. So why is Social Security needing an increase in the debt ceiling? Where did our money go? Of course, this is a rhetorical question. Starting with the Lyndon Johnson administration, the government “borrowed” the cash in the Social Security Trust Fund, replacing is with Treasury Bonds that the US Government is now unable to redeem. The implications are obvious. Because the US Government cannot redeem those Treasury Bonds in the Social Security Trust Fund, the US Government is already in default against the American workers. The American workers’ money is gone. The US Government has effectively embezzled the retirement money ($2.6TRILLION+) of American workers. So, in borrowing money to replace the looted cash, the US Government is expecting future workers to pay for Social Security benefits that were already paid for once before, effectively double-billing We The People. To put it another way, the US Government just sold us an apple, but is forcing us to pay for two, and trying to look like this is wise fiscal management of the peoples’ retirement funds!
    China and every other country should BEWARE …… the American Government is a DEADBEAT.
    The American Government DOES NOT PAY IT’S DEBTS.
    Loan America money, you will NEVER get paid back.

  3. Medicare Part G
    If you are an older senior citizen and can no longer take care of yourself and need Long-Term Care, but the government says there is no Nursing Home care available for you, what do you do? You may opt for Medicare Part G.
    The plan gives anyone 75 or older a gun (Part G) and one bullet. You may then shoot one worthless politician. This means you will be sent to prison for the rest of your life where you will receive three meals a day, a roof over your head, central heating and air conditioning, cable TV, a library, and all the health care you need. Need new teeth? No problem. Need glasses? That’s great. Need a hearing aid, new hip, knees, kidney, lungs, sex change, or heart? They are all covered!
    As an added bonus, your kids can come and visit you at least as often as they do now!
    And, who will be paying for all of this? The same government that just told you they can’t afford for you to go into a nursing home.
    And you will get rid of a useless politician while you are at it. And now, because you are a prisoner, you don’t have to pay any more income taxes!
    Is this a great country or what?
    Now that you have solved your senior Long-Term Care problem, enjoy the rest of your week!

  4. Social Security is NOT an “entitlement”. I, along with most other taxpayers was FORCED (along with an equivalent amount paid by my employer) at the point of a gun to “contribute” to the Social Security system . . . give me back my “contributions” along with my employer’s share (with interest) and I will happily walk away from this Ponzi scheme . . .
    Social Security “contributions” should have been taken out on a pre-tax basis. We are being taxed “doubly” by “benefits” being taxed.

    • If your money had been put into an investment fund when you first started working you would have been a millionaire right now. A drug dealer that had 5 kids and had never held a job or paid one cent in taxes gets killed in a drug deal, his wife would receive a monthly check for her 5 children until they are of age, where’s the churches? Most of the money was taken by the other government agencies and for our wars. We are controlled by the “let them eat cake”, psychopaths.

  5. Had Bill Clinton not stolen our money to balnce his budget and had not LBJ stolen our money from the trust fund and issued worthless IOU’s SS would not be headed towards insolvency or if it were it would be in 2080 instead of now. Politicians whom did this should be rounded up and publicly executed on live TV and all their ill gotten gain returned to their victims. I was not given a choice whether to participate in this PONZI scheme but since I was forced too paticipate there will be consequences if my benefits are cut/reduced.

  6. Reduce the technically sophisticated weapons dropped upon people of the world with whom American citizens have no beef and there would be plenty of money to fund SSI. Reduce the bloated bureaucracies like the TSA, EPA, FDA and DoD and there would be plenty of money to fund the SSI. Stop deployment of troops to foreign nations which perform enforcement actions for resource theft corporations and there would be plenty of money to fund SSI. Stop the yearly glut of aid to foreign countries AND US corporations and there would be plenty of money to fund SSI. Every commentor in this string knows the government theft of funds from taxpayers is criminal. Every branch of government and the associated bureaucracies are complicit if not directly guilty. The only question that remains is what to do about it. …and they cry peace, peace, but there is no peace. Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?… The government is not governing in the interests of the people! Vote them all out! Every election, vote out EVERY incumbent! Throw them out until we find those who will legislate and regulate for taxpayers. The Clinton Foundation is a classic example of politicians gone rogue. They want to bathe in your money and laugh at you while you starve. Vote them out NOW!

  7. Where’s all that NASA money? We NEVER went to the moon and never will. There is no ISS. So where’s all those billions of dollars? Don’t tell me there’s no money for SS, when at the same time you’re starting fake wars based on fake terrorism. Where’s all the SS money? Might want to start looking by checking the couch cushions at Raytheon.

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