Do you think Social Security will be there for you when you retire?
February 16th, 2012
01:43 PM ET

Do you think Social Security will be there for you when you retire?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

If you're planning to rely on Social Security in retirement, you may want to think again.

The Social Security Administration has already warned that the trust fund will likely run out of money in 2036. That's only 24 years away.

But now there's reason to believe it could run out of money even sooner.

The Congressional Budget Office says by 2020, the combined Social Security old age and disability trust funds will be $800 billion smaller than what the Social Security Administration projected last year.

AOL's Daily Finance suggests when the next SSA Trustees Report comes out, its own projections will probably be revised downward too.

In fact, that's been the trend over the past five years, with Social Security moving up its estimated "run-dry" date from 2041 to 2036.

When the trust fund runs out of money, it's expected benefits will fall by about 25%.

So if you still have time to put away additional money for your own retirement - not an easy thing to do in this economy - you should save up.

More than 54 million Americans collect Social Security for retirement, disability or survivor benefits. The average check for a retiree is about $1,200 per month.

Meanwhile Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says the White House and congressional Republicans discussed ways to shore up Social Security last year as part of the debt ceiling talks.

But, big surprise - they couldn't reach a deal.

Lawmakers would either need to cut benefits, raise taxes, or a combination of the two. Won't happen - at least not now.

Here’s my question to you: Do you think Social Security will be there for you when you retire?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Sam in Lexington, Kentucky:
I absolutely don't expect Social Security to be here when I retire (29 now). I'm not planning on the government to figure out how to cut spending at any point before the entire house of cards comes tumbling down. I pretend the money I'm paying into it now goes to my grandparents and that at least lessens my anger that I'm forced to pay into a system that's a complete disaster.

Social Security needs to be restructured. This system should be like a savings account. When you retire, a lump sum should be given to you, and this should be invested in an annuity. This way the government right away is out of it. The lump sum must be invested...thus creating financial jobs. And the retiree can then get a monthly amount.

Jackie in Arlington, Virginia:
Of course Social Security will be there in the future. Despite fear-mongering and myths, it has never missed a check and is still intensely popular across all political parties. The only way it won't "be there" is if we let Congress cut our hard-earned benefits. The long-term funding gap is completely fixable. The extra revenue needed to fix the funding gap in 2036 can be achieved by raising the FICA tax cap on those that make more than $110,000.

I want to be able to opt out of this sinking ship right now. I think I can better save for my own retirement.

Well, I'm going to retire within the next 10 years or so. That shouldn’t be enough time to screw up and renege on the promise that was implied as I paid into the system all these years. But hey, you never know.

Nate in North Carolina:
Social Security? What's that? A card with a 9-digit number? I've heard older people talk about it, but when I asked them what it is, they say, "Don't worry about it." I am still in college and I am more worried about getting a job in this economy, let alone retiring.

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Filed under: Social Security
soundoff (263 Responses)
  1. jerry n.carolina

    nope and that comming from a twenty one year old jack.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
  2. Ed from Harrisburg

    I am beyond retirement age and I still working because I fear the Social Security crisis is worse than predicted. I will work as long as I can with the hope that someone who may need it more than me will benefit, even though I will never amass what I put in. It's very complicating and disappointing.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  3. Conor in Chicago

    No. But that's mostly because I don't expect there to be governments by the time I "retire".

    February 16, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
  4. Shenin

    You're assuming of course, that I'm going to be able to retire in the first place.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
  5. Jack

    Probably not.
    Was it not an implied contract with the federal government when they started taking SS tax from our paycheck that we would get SS at 65. If so why can they adjust the qualifing age after contribution begin.
    If a private corporation would not set aside funds or change the rule midstream they would be attacked.
    They say it's our money we invested in SS, if that is so why when a single person dies at say 64 all the money invested in SS system is lost. Had those funds been invested in a 401K or IRA they would still be the property
    of the estate.
    All that being said when SS system was started the life expectancy 63 and benefits didn't start till 65, so the intention
    was for most never to draw from this system.
    As for now just because we live into our 80's doesn't mean the body can work into the 70's.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  6. Annie, Atlanta

    That's a good question, Jack. What I will never understood is why our politicians, who have several retirement plans available to them, don't just remove the cap all together. Why are taxpayer benefits ok for them, but not for the rest of us?

    February 16, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  7. John from Alabama

    Jack: Social Security is wonderfull thing that my employers and I paid into for over 40 years. It is a great supplement to my pension. I believe with some reform to the Social Security Trust Fund it will be saved along with medicare. The income ceiling might have to raised and young people who will live longer might have to be 70 to draw social security. America is great, because America keeps its promises. I am living proof that social security is definitely worth keeping down the road.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  8. Jenna Roseville CA

    Do you think Social Security will be there for you when you retire?

    I do and I see it available for my children and grand-children as well. As long as we keep the Republicans dirty grubby little hands off it we will be fine!

    Laugh all you will – Al Gore was 100% CORRECT – Social Security belongs in a 'locked box'

    Roseville CA

    February 16, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  9. james in greenville nc

    Sure it will be there, Jack. However, the dollar you put in today will be worth about eight cents when you get it out. The politicians will never let the social security recipients down. They may lie to them but they will never withhold any payments. That way they can keep the old folks reelecting them time after time. Social security is like Santa, if you are good he will come down the chimney, even if you ain't got no chimney. Vote for Santa!

    February 16, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  10. Rick McDaniel

    Of course not. Unless the SS system is separated from the rest of the government budget, where it can't be used for other things........of course it won't be there, any more.

    Obama is taking this country on a path to a $27 trillion dollar deficit. That is simply bankruptcy, any way you look at it.

    SS will cease to exist, unless it is privatized to individual accounts, the government cannot access nor borrow from.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  11. Steve

    No. When you keep on cutting the payroll tax which robs the Social Security fund, how can you have the money in the fund for those that will start collecting. You'd think that not only the Seniors should be upset but the young people also. Somebody will have re-fund the losses created with this payroll tax cut and it will be the youg kids today that are working.
    I don't see the outcry from the Press to support these young people to be screwed in the future. .

    February 16, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  12. JD in NH

    Social Security would be there for everyone for eternity if all people paid into it on 100% of their income. Currently it's just the "small people" – as Tony from BP called us – who pony up 100%.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
  13. Ron WPAFB

    If it isn't, then the United States won't be around!

    February 16, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  14. tom bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    Look at public opinion polls. Voters will never allow Republicans to get rid of Social Security, or Medicare. People are already more vocal about Republicans trying to raid these programs to pay for wars, Big Oil subsidies, tax loop holes. I'm phoning my Senators right now to lobby against Congress using the Prevention and Public Health Fund as a way to pay for the cost of the payroll tax cut extension/Medicare doctor payment legislation. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  15. Bill of New Mexico

    I've been on SS for 10 years.

    The minimum age for getting onto SS will continue to rise from this point onward.

    The minimum age may even surpass the age of life expectancy in the US.

    Medicare will decline until no doctor will accept a medicare patient. Half of the doctors don't accept medicare patients now.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  16. Terry Wells -Hoosier Hillbilly-Greensburg,IN

    I didn't take any chances, I started drawing it @ age 62 to get as much back as I could before government had a chance to get it all 1st. I'll probably get to live my life out with only minimum disruptions but those that are under the age of 55
    watch out, by the time they raise the retirement age, medicare, and not adjust for inflation rate, retirees will be paying the
    SS Ass. instead of getting it.

    If I make it to 82 me and Uncle Sam or even, he'll be giving me the interest he's made on my money after that.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  17. Loren

    I've got 12 more years, and if it's not there, there will be a new American Revolution.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  18. Ed from California

    For me, yes. For the young, maybe not. If we keep electing "patriots" that allow our jobs to be outsourced. Fight unfunded wars, Give tax breaks to the wealthy. Subsidies all the Red States. Subsidize, Farming, Big Oil, Big Pharmacy, Health Care, Telecommunication Companies, The Banks. As long as we keep doing this and stealing money out of the Social Security Trust, then, no, there will be no money left. I wish that we fund all these programs out of our "hired" helps pay and benefit packages(Medical and retirement). if one dime was coming out of Fred Thompson's, Kyle's or McConnell's collective a*s, we would hear the biggest collective scream of all time. But, since it comes from the taxpayer, well that's Monopoly money.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  19. Mel - Houston

    I'll have to recuse myself from making a comment on this question. I'm receiving Social Security now and I'm thankful that the money is there. My money that was invested in the American way, thank you.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  20. Nate NC

    Social Security? What's that? A card with 9 digit number? I've heard older people talk about it, but when I asked them what it is, they say, "Don't worry about it." I am still in college and I am more worried about getting a job in this economy, let alone retiring.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  21. Greg in Arkansas

    Jack, I'm 62 and plan to work until I either sell my house or reach 65 to draw full S.S. benefits (which won't be much)....then, I plan to move in with my kids to help make ends meet since my 401 is now almost worthless thanks to the Wall Street Crooks.
    ....p.s.....don't tell them I'm coming.....I want it to be a surprise.....!!!!

    February 16, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  22. Joe

    I want to be able to opt out of this sinking ship right now. I think I can better save for my own retirement. I already am with a 401k. I'll stick the extra money from withdrawing into there, and have a better retirement than I would otherwise.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  23. Karl in Flint, MI

    Jack, from my personal perspective, I’ll turn 67 tomorrow and I didn’t take any chances. When I was turning 62, Bush was still blabbing about privatizing Social Security and other options to fix it. I looked at my annual report of what I would get at 62 and what I would get at full retirement at 66. I figured the difference and found if I wait until 66, it will take me 20 years to make up the difference I’d give up over those 4 years and I could still live quite well on the lesser amount. I decided I wasn’t sure I’d last those20 years and retired at 62 and glad I did. Social Security will get “fixed” sooner or later and will be there for workers today in some form. What is really amazing is, for the past 30 years, they can tell you when they will run out of money, but apparently have no clue what to do to fix it. I’ll leave it at that.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  24. Richard Texas

    Even if Social Security is still around it will not amount to much. What will likely happen is the retirement age will be raised and people will get less and less in benefits. The average life expectancy for males in the U.S. is 75 so right now you have roughly 10 years to enjoy what you paid in your entire working life if your lucky. Now there is something to look forward to. You work and pay in to SS for 59 years to collect possibly 10. The Power Ball lottery is looking better everyday Jack.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  25. DT - Saint Paul, MN

    Of course. Social Security is a flawed model because nobody actually did the math. You have a structured payment that goes into a fund, tailored to an expected life expectancy, and get a structured payout when you reach the retirement age. Oops, people live longer now. Oops, you spent the trust fund to keep taxes low. Funny money and accounting only lasts so long. This isn't a 100 year old bridge about to physically collapse. You change the structure and bingo it works again. Previous governments were good at kicking the can too. Well, time ran out.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  26. Bob D Iowa

    Jack since I'm retired already Yes but my MUCH younger wife it is still up for grabs as it has been a political football since Ronnie was in office. Short answer YES....

    February 16, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  27. Cathy

    No really, I'd be surpised it is is- the way the money is being spent by the government, I would be surprised if it lasts for the next five years- I don't even trust my pension to be there either.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  28. Noel Sivertson New Mexico

    Being on Social Security now I'm not worried much about it, especially since in 2036 I'll be 103 years old. But I do have children, grand children, and a great grandchild that I worry about.

    I do have a question. Does the 2.1 trillion dollars the government owes the Social Security Trust Fund count in the shortfall? Or is that a sum they figure will never get paid back? That's over twice the amount we owe China you know!

    February 16, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  29. Simon/Orlando

    I'm retired and collecting now. By 2036 I probably won't be here. A lot of young people voted for our current borrow and spend president who is bankrupting the country. It's their fault and I really don't care about their retirement problems. They are bringing it on themselves.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  30. Doug Ericson

    No, and I am 58. Wall Street, and The Military Industrial Complex have bankrupted this Country. The numbers you see for The Dow and the like, are illusions of fumes, mirages on the highway to the bottom of the canyon. Our leaders are the victims of a society so bent on validation, that they got where they are, by having to do nothing by themselves. By the year 2020, the cities will be overcome by Rats, deserted by citzens, forced back into the woods and Towns to survive. We will become pilgrims again, with a bongo mike communication system, from Coast to Coast. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  31. Susan-NJ

    Democrats in Congress have said that SS law runs out this year and the new will not be as lucrative as the old. The question is who should collect? Frank Sinatra collected. Is it right for people this wealthy who gave nothing to their country to continue leaching? Only the needy should collect. It shouldn't be a means to take vacations in Europe but a matter of survival.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  32. Joe Ft Walton Bch Fl

    I am retired and social security is there for me. And I have no doubt that social security will be there when anyone retires. Social security is an investment that everyone that works pay a share and the government in return pay us back its interest. I don't think that the Government will renege as long as they still taking social security from some one's pay.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  33. Ralph in Corpus

    When I retire? Not sure now if I'll ever be able to retire.
    Ralph- Corpus Christi, Texas

    February 16, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  34. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I am retired collecting Social Security. I am worried now about keeping my Social Security. Because if a Republican gets elected president I am sure he would rather take my Social Security away or decrease it in order not to tax the rich.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  35. Ken from California

    There will be if we stop spending trillions on the worlds social and security problems. It is time to stop United State taxpayers economic care packages to other nations while we go wanting. Most we give to dislike us anyway.
    Now who in Washington dare take that on?

    February 16, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  36. Jackie Tortora

    Of course Social Security will be there in the future. Despite fear mongering and myths, it has never missed a check and still is intensely popular across all political parties. It is a core American value and a vital lifeline for all generations. The only way it won't "be there" is if we let Congress cut our hard earned benefits. The long-term funding gap is completely fixable. The challenge is minor compared to the immediate insolvency problem in 1983. In fact, the extra revenue needed to fix the funding gap in 2036 can be achieved by raising the FICA tax cap on those that make more than $110,000. Interesting fact: The cost of closing Social Security’s 75-year shortfall is equal to the revenue from letting the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2% of Americans expire.

    Jackie Tortora
    Arlington, Virginia

    February 16, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  37. Larry in Houston

    Jack – As long as it's there in 5 more years, I will be able to draw it – I Paid Into It ! How about the rest of the people like me, who've PAID INTO IT, all those Years that we've worked ? I mean, do you Think My Pension is going to Get It ? The Pension only Pays the electric / or the gas / or the water / or the Phone / or the Internet / Or Any 2 of Those. (possibly 3, if I don't take a bath for a week)

    February 16, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  38. Jane in CA

    Yes I do!. I am 65, and will begin collecting next year. When I was a young worker, the SS reserve balance was less than the 1 year statutory minimum. I believe Reagan was president when the reforms were enacted to allow SS to run a surplus and create the trust fund to help fund the drop in revenue when the boomers retired. It has over 2 trillion, with a T, right now. Unless the government decides to default on its debt and steal the money, it is just as good as the savings in my bank account. Considering what has happened to banks lately, maybe safer. I will probably be dead years before the surplus is used up, unless the austerity crowd gets to destroy the economy permanently. And if that happens, the young and prime workers will probably get hit harder than I will, because I already have some savings of my own, and all the material goods I need.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  39. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    Social Security and Medicare would be solvent forever IF politicians, going back to Reagan, didn't keep "borrowing" against it to pay for tax cuts for the rich and foolish wars. everyone laughed at Al Gore's "lock box" BUT he was CORRECT.

    and people getting income off "investments" and those making over $250K need to pay THEIR fair share of FICA.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  40. MNResident

    What retirement? The way this country is going, I am going to have to work for the rest of my life so I can pay for all the freeloaders that the government is forcing me to support thanks to "entitlement" programs.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  41. kimsue

    The only way Social Security won't be there is if every single American worker loses his job and quits contributing payroll taxes. Even if NOTHING is done, Social Security will pay 78% of promised benefits when the surplus is gone DECADES from now. Come on people wake up...conservatives have been promising Social Security's demise since before the first check was even delivered 75 years ago. You want to fix Social Security ... scrap the cap that protects the wealthy from paying their fair share of payroll taxes. It's not hard but the same scare mongers who've spent a Billion dollars on an anti-Social Security campaign don't really want to find a fix– they want your money sent to Wall Street so they can play with it instead.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  42. Lou, Fayetteville, NC

    Not a fair question......I am retired....and it is there.....and the only problem I have with it is Medicaid is making Social Security go broke. Why doesn't someone wise up and give Medicaid it's own pot of money? We pay into Social Security and it is not fair that President Johnson decided that we would pay for Medicaid. Why not put the rich boy's tax benefit to Medicaid? Yes, I know the rich boys contribute to social security but they also ought to own Medicaid. Would be good for them. To those who much is given, much is expected.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  43. Dan from Stewartstown PA

    It might be there when I retire, which is in a few short years, but unless something drastic is done I don't think it will be there very long in the future. Since the GOP likes to tout percentages that the wealthy pay, maybe the contribution cap on Soc. Sec. could be eliminated so everyone would pay the same percentage. That would generate alot of revenue and pehaps save Social Security as we know it.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  44. Ed from Texas

    As you point out, Jack, when the Trust Fund runs dry, contributions going in will approximate 75% of the benefits going out. So, yes, I do expect Social Security to be there when I retire, at least 75% of it. And that percentage could improve if the economy gets better

    February 16, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  45. Mallen Marlowe

    Ha!! This is laughable, I'm 26 and by the time I retire that well would have long dried up. Here's a suggestion, How about they make us stop paying into it. I mean most of us are not going to benefit from it anyway. I mean, where is the money going?

    February 16, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  46. Karen, Idaho

    Not if the Republicans get ahold of it.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  47. Dave, Orlando, FL

    It’s hardly there for me now. I’m getting only about 60% of what I should be getting. And the reason no one can shore up SS is that they have already been doing absolutely everything that has been and is being proposed for decades now and none of it has worked. They are taxing benefits, means testing, cutting benefits, raising taxes – everything. That is because the so called trust fund (read: my savings account) has been raided, pilfered and robbed over the years and no one has paid anything they swiped back, let alone any interest. And keep in mind, this started out as a voluntary participation program that was never to be taxed going in or coming out. President Roosevelt would not recognize his plan today. It was a brilliant one, but then the US government got a hold of it.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  48. Kim , Dodge City, Ks

    Republicans absolutely hate Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and any other program that actually helps people. For that reason alone, I don't see Social Security surviving a Republican administration. The irony is that there are millions and millions of Republican voters who rely on those programs for their very existence, yet they continue to support and vote for candidates that vow to eliminate them. How stupid is that?

    February 16, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  49. Jim, Denver CO

    I sure do hope so. I've been paying into it for a long time. But if the NeoCon Evangelical Right-Wing Republicans get their wish then I'll be living off of whatever is left over of my 401k after they screw that up too.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  50. B. J., Quincy, Il

    It better be!!

    February 16, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  51. David in Northern Virginia

    Nope. I expect social security to be heavily means-tested which means that, once again, people who save responsibly get the shaft. There's so much villification of the very rich and the very poor in this country - people seem to forget the middle class people (what's left of us, anyway) who wind up footing the bill for both ends of the spectrum. Social security will be just another example.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  52. mary

    Yes if the goverment stops stealing from it to pay other things. I put money into it since I was 15 years of age I am now 60 and I don't think it's free money at all, both parties are killing us. In Fl we have to put up with an ignorant GOP and his best buddies. I would love to move but the money is not there right now.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  53. Gary H. Boyd

    Jack, I'm not worried about social security being viable 24 years from now - I'm worried about the country being viable this time, next year. The way things are going, - the national debt, unemployment, foreclosures,incompetence in Washington, and all the rest, leads me to question the basic viability of the country as a whole. Sad, but true.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    February 16, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  54. Mike S., New Orleans

    Yes it will Jack. Despite what those campaigning for White House are saying, the sky is not falling.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  55. Ann from Charleston SC

    As a senior citizen, I am currently collecting Social Security. My advice to those who are not yet on Social Security is to save and invest all you can now. Even if Congress miraculously agrees on a way to fund it, Social Security payments do not go very far. Think about your current expenses and compare them to the $1200 monthly average. You will need your own retirement account in order to maintain any kind of lifesyle. As an Independent with a strong Liberal streak, I have to agree with Republicans about taking care of oneself and not depending on the government for support.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  56. Kevin in CA

    Yes it will be there ... all $1.49 / month of it when I turn 85 years old.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  57. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    By law, the future of the program must be estimated using conservative expectations. More realistic expectations show longer term stability. Any shortfalls can easily be offset with reforms in how inflation is calculated (a chained CPI), a slight adjustment to retirement age and higher income caps and more progressive bend points in benefit calculations at higher incomes. It is fashionable to go all chicken little, but mostly that comes from those who wish to profiteer from the fees the come from shifting from a social insurance system to personal retirement accounts. The only way to temper their hunger is to insist that any personal retirement account be invested in employer voting stock rather than in unaccountable Wall Street speculation. Of course, if that happens, the Republicans will have their forces march in the street to preserve Social Security untouched.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  58. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Globalization is also a concern, as labor moves overseas payroll taxes make it harder to sustain the system. To counter this, perhaps a Value Added Tax is necessary.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  59. Josh Rosenblum

    I'm just 33 and I know our most popular and successful program will be there for my family and I. There are simple fixes to Social Security's long term stability without benefit cuts or privatization plus politicians know voters in all parties would much rather raise taxes on billionaires than cut Social Security. -Josh Rosenblum, Washington, DC

    February 16, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  60. Robert Meehan

    Well, I'm gonna retire within the next 10 years or so. That SHOULDN'T be enough time to screw up and reneg on the promise that was implied as I paid into the system all these years. But hey, ya never know.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  61. bonnie from NJ

    It's a crapshoot! I am turning 55 this year and have worked full time since I was 19, at many times in my life I have worked multiple jobs. I have to be honest and say that I foolishly have not saved too much on my own and the amount my house has been devalued are contributing to the scariness of my situation. Hopefully, I don't get sick as I get older becuase at this point I am planning on just dropping dead at my desk!

    February 16, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  62. Sandstone.

    "There is going to be a WWlll, Jack. I thought you knew the USA is finished as a leader in my world. All that was will never be again! There is no kind of security left on this planet, until that war has been fought. There is a World-revolution going on, and nobody can stop it!"

    February 16, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  63. jk for Minnesota

    It's iffy, Jack. Congress keeps raiding the trust fund for the General budget. If they don't stop or take that ridiculous cap off the income that is taxable, it could as us baby boomers age.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  64. Cy Gardner

    It depends. If the GOP could take full control of government between now and the tiime I reach 65, in 2020, then I expect I will be seized and my internal organs sold piecemeal to fatten up some corporation's bottom line. Or perhaps I will be chained to the front door of Walmart and forced to greet people. Most likely I will be assigned to a cot in a facility much like the one Oliver Twist grew up in, only this one will be for old people. On the other hand, if grownups run the government, I'll probably be OK. cy from arlington, va

    February 16, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  65. Michael Phelan

    Social Security isn't in crisis–the trust fund is will be solvent for the foreseeable future. The previous projections didn't take our current economic situation into account. Put people back to work and raise the FICA contributions cap a little... voila! No problem with Social Security.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  66. Hannah Banks

    If the income cap were raised to $250,000 for at least 10 years, wouldn't this go a long way toward strengthening Social Security?

    February 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  67. Robert

    Nashville TN.. No I seriously doubt it will be there for me, but I'll obviously keep paying into it!...Fortunately I have another 20 years to handle it myself..Or less if Im lucky!

    February 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  68. factchecker

    Possible, but fear about it is probably unwise to make a rational decision about whether to take it early .

    February 16, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  69. Linda Lyons-Bailey

    Are you kidding me??? Even if it were there, it would only provide for, oh, about 10% of an average senior citizen's basic needs by then.

    I'm researching the Tiny House Movement. I need to learn how to be completely off the grid and live the moneyless lifestyle, because with the student loans and medical bills I owe, "NO MONEY" is exactly what I am going to have.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  70. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Are you sure the year 2036 is correct? I would imagine that it will be much sooner than that since the government is taking money away with the tax cuts and who knows there may be another war or two that needs to be paid for with SS benefits. I started drawing SS last year but really don't expect my kids to see any money.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  71. Charles - San Antonio

    I am worried about social security. However, I am much more worried about inflation, the value of the dollar, the stock market, and our standard of living in the future. We have problems with social security, but if we don't start working on reducing our national debt, we could be living in a third world country.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  72. JC Dicus

    Your statement "Social Security will run out of money in 2036" is misleading. SS will be paying out more than it takes in for a period of time but will still be paying out 75% of benefits. The so called tax decrease on SS payroll deductions does not help in the long term. It would be easy to fix the program if our government were not so broken.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  73. Leigh Brumberg

    I retired 1 1/2 years ago and Social Security was there for me. However, what most people don't know is that retired public school teachers who had Social Security credits from from previous careers are penalized via the federal Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) legislation such that significant deductions are imposed on their benefits. Each month Uncle Sam takes out $350.00 from my Social Security for the WEP.

    Mr. Cafferty, please look into this as I believe, not just on my behalf, that this is worthy of focused inquiry. Unfortunately, because it affects only second-career teachers who paid into Social Security prior to their education profession, this issue continues to fly under the radar. WEP is a disincentive for those considering a second career as a teacher and is a gross injustice to those paid into the system for many years before becoming professional educators.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  74. andy Lynn, MA

    If the Democrats regain control of the House and Senate social security will be there. If the Republicans gain control of the Congress I'll be on the street corner with all my contemporaries selling apples; the fruit not the computer!

    February 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  75. Dan in Albuquerque

    Jack, I am retired and will probably be gone when that time comes, but I do know there are funding methods to insure its' viability for a long time. The biggest danger is the privatizing scheme the GOP has pushed for years. It is a blueprint for disaster and a continuing effort by the Republicans to bestow their 1% supporting financial institutions with trillions of dollars in new money. TheGOP is jealous of FDR and the Democrats for coming up with a unique and highly successful program that has worked for decades, and want to destroy it. All they had to do was refuse to allow borrowing from the fund, and that still can be done..

    February 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  76. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    As a 61 year old I do believe that Social Security will be there whenever it is that I can retire ,however, it will not be the Social Security realized by my grandfathers, or for that matter, my father..

    February 16, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  77. bluebluesdancer

    Hi! I'm from Portland, Oregon.
    In my opinion it is really infuriating the way the GOP refuses to help support the best program that we have ever created! Over the years Presidents from both sides have allowed the fund to be utilized in ways that have weakened it. It is time to bite the bullet and fix it so it works properly again. The GOP has been contented to spend, spend, spend over the years, just running-up debt with no intention of ever paying for it. Life and finances don't work like that. You can only run up debt on your credit-cards for so long before the creditors show up on your doorstep wanting payment, and that is where we are now. We need to admit that some of the choices that we allowed to be made were disastrous, but also to realize that to dismantle Social Security would be even more disastrous! If paying more into Social Security is what it takes then that is what we must do, but we should also raise the 'cap', which would help a lot.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  78. bud rupert

    There is a 121 billion dollars per year surplus of taxes collected and actual benefits paid out. Approximately 156 million people pay into the program while a litlle over 50 million collect benefits. You figure the rest out.....I think we're good to go. By the way Jack – If you are readiog the Heritage Foundation propaganda – STOP IT!

    February 16, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  79. Mack from Michigan

    Thankfully the politicians have a healthy fear of the boomers voting record so yes Jack I believe social security will be there for me. However I dont believe it will in and of itself be enough to live on! I am looking forward to retirement as an opportunity to suppliment my retirement by finding a fun job to go to everyday.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  80. Brian, Philadelpha PA

    not if democrats are in power. they don't have the guts to save the program. but they will definately blame republicans when it runs out of money.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  81. Mark

    Will it be there- Yes. Will I likely be 80 years old when finally eligible and the payment laughable. Yes.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  82. Tom Bethell

    Yes, Social Security will be there, period. It will never be insolvent as long as workers and employers continue to pay in. And unless Congress remains paralyzed for the next 24 years, the program's long-term revenue shortfall can be easily addressed: (1) Lift the cap on taxable earnings, so everyone pays their fair share, and (2) increase contributions by about 50 cents a week, for the average worker, each year for the next 20 years, and we're home free. Rumors of the demise of Social Security are greatly exaggerated.

    [I'm sending this from Washington DC, where I'm a Visiting Scholar at the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI)]

    February 16, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  83. Nick, Denver

    Of course it, or something very like it will, though likely not in its current form. When are people going to get it through their heads that the US government cannot run out of money? It is impossible for a country with monopoly control over its own currency to run out.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  84. Jim

    Jack – Social Security will be there when I retire because I am turning 63 in May. However, I think over time my benefit will be cut by a significant amount. I find it sad that I have paid into the system for so many years and my employer has put in the same amount for my benefit but because a bunch of dufus congress men and women (past, present and I'm sure future ones) don't have a clue on how to manage money so the SS fund is heading to zero, nada, bankrupt, etc.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  85. AL in West Palm Beach

    I'm one month shy of turning 30. I never planned on collecting social security; but I can't soly rely on the stock market. You know, unlike congress, I can't wait for some insider deals to come my way and bet big on it before the news come public. I can't invest in homes because their prices are either flat or falling, can I just do what people did right after the great depression? Matress, here I come.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  86. Erick

    Deaf have been complained about Social Security Administration in Baltimore, MD that reduced their benefits. Some of them are not able to work that ordered by doctors, some are discriminated for jobs, no training jobs, and etc. We need President Obama will get attention and help us. SSA needs to be reformed.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  87. Greg, San Francisco

    Please explain what you mean by "retire".

    February 16, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  88. Charles

    Why dont they make the rich pay for it. They pay for everything else.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  89. Marcia Greenwood, IN

    Social security should be there for all of us-We pay into it our whole working lives-Politicians are stealing the fund for other purposes and using it as a political football. It is not a ponzi scheme as Republicans declared and it was just fixed a couple of years ago so it would be good for the next hundred years. Instead of raising taxes on the over million dollar incomes the politicians want to raid Social Security. NO! NO! NO!

    February 16, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  90. sls in san diego, ca

    I think it will be for me – I'm only 7 years away from retirement. However – I'm more concerned about burdening my kid with paying for my SS. Obama and Congress need to tackle this head-on for the long haul after the election. Nothing will happen before then.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  91. Gigi Oregon

    They only way social security will be here is, if every generation supports it and laws are made where no one can borrow from it. If we run out, we will be back where are grandparents and great grandparent were in 1929. They lived in poverty and rented multi-generation house holds. Propaganda is all ready telling you what a wonderful idea this is.. Is it...With each year since President Nixon, the middle class is shrinking and the rich are getting richer. And they have figured out a way to get the old family homestead too...

    February 16, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  92. Jeff in San Diego

    Maybe. But if we invade Iran, no way. There is always money for wars, even when we give tax cuts at the same time. But when it comes to Social Security or Medicare, it's "here's your measly voucher" or "let our Wall Street buddies invest it for you because they alway get it right." Jack, if Americans truly cared about saving these programs and saving our children from debt, they would agree to higher taxes, at least until Iraq and Afghanistan are paid for. Let's see what our debt would look like if that were the case.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  93. John

    How can you expect Social Security to be funded when they reduce the amount going into the fund by this "payroll tax cut" reducing the contribution from 6.2% to 4.2%. Why don't they take the cap off of Social Security and collect on every dollar earned. They do that on Medicare. 100% of all wages are charged medicare 1.45% but only 110,000 in Social Security is charged the 4.2% formerly 6.2%. Wake up and look at the facts. It would be easy to make Social Security sound.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  94. DaleW in MA

    Not when the depublicans get back in office. They want their investment banker friends to cash in and rape and pillage the elder population like they did for every bodies 401Ks. BEWARE the free market. It's not a free market with all the collusion and corruption.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  95. Thomas Henley

    Social Security might not be there when I retire, but I strongly believe some alternative program will be. Who provides it and what it's benefits will be remains to be seen, but it would be political suicide for any government that fails to provide retirement assistance most especially to those who have paid a premium over the years for it to do so.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  96. STEVE

    If everyone pays into Social Security how is it that it is going broke? Is it true that the government borrows from the Social Security Trust fund every year to help fund the government? If so why doesn't the government pay the money back?

    February 16, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  97. BJ Blinston

    I was told coming out of High School (1987) to not plan on Social Security being there for me. My question at the time (and it's still relevant now) why am I paying into something that everyone says will not be there when I retire?

    February 16, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  98. LV

    No. By the time I retire, it will be welfare for the aging poor. Best guess, payments will be offset 1:1 with what I could draw from my savings, which means I will get nothing.

    We see that thinking being applied right now, as we relieve debt and lower payments only for irresponsible home buyers who have failed to make payments.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  99. Richard

    I get a statement every year that tells me how much I will never see.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  100. Nancy, Cunningham, TN

    Got my first check this week Jack from Social Security. I just hope the system doesn't go broke and take away what I just got. A lot of people will say I never got a dime back from what I put into Social Security. I won't -

    February 16, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  101. GrouchyKat

    Nope, because it's going to be spent on all the entitlement programs that are just sucking up money so that there won't be any left by the time I retire.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  102. Michael

    Social Security will be there when we retire because any politician that votes against it in any manner is committing career suicide. And, since politicians do not serve the public anymore, just their own careers we know they will just kick the can down the road until it is not an option but to take drastic measures and put the economy in a financial crisis. This can be fixed people but we need to start making some hard decisions and sticking to our guns. Stop giving social security to those that did not earn it, are not living in the US and especialy the disability to the people that are not completely disabled.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  103. Greg Turman


    The so called "payroll tax cut" to give the average family an extra $1,000/year is a ruse of sorts. This $1,000/year is coming from our social security contributions to the government. A thousand dollars deducted from my pay check for social security means a $1,000 dollars going to my social security account. Now that the $1,000 is going directly to me the federal governement gets to skim (tax) and I only get to see $7-800.00 of that thousand and I now have less money going into my social security !
    Gregory Turman

    February 16, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  104. Ed

    Social Security would last a lot longer if they get people off of it that never paid into it or do not deserve it. I have had cases cross my desk for people getting SS because they were obese, alcoholics, or druggies. I see this as self inflicted and not the original SS intent. Politicians love to give money away but once the door opens they do not have the courage to make needed cuts.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  105. Brandon in Chicago

    Jack, I'm 38 and already qualified to receive benefits that won't be there. So how about we call it even; I wont draw benefits and the government wont make any future deductions from my pay. I'm thinking I might be better off this way.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  106. Jim Banner Nixa, Missouri

    Yes. I will retire in the next five years after paying into the system for almost 50 years. I would be willing to take a cut in benefits if it would help younger folks receive more but I do not believe our government has the ability to make decisions like that any more! Too bad!

    February 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  107. Steve


    If and of your viewers are under age 50 and are planning on social security for their retirement then I have a bridge to sell them...

    February 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  108. Paul - North Carolina

    I've already retired, Jack. I took my social security early and along with a pension and my IRA I'm doing just fine, thanks. And social security will continue to be just fine as long as Paul Ryan and others who share his distorted version of reality are kept away from it. It can remain solvent indefinitely without raising the retirement age or cutting benefits. All that is required is removing the wage tax cap and changing the employer's contribution from a percentage of wages paid to a percentage of the CEO's compensation.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  109. O

    I hope it'll be around for me and my peers and other that follows, when I retire in 15 some years (I'm a Boomer) and wish they could somehow make Social Security BULLETPROOF that absolutely NO ONE but RETIREES can get their hands on it and is constantly funded so it'll never run out. Wishful thinking.....I know !

    To think, we all might have to work 'till we drop dead at our jobs just to stay above water. Says something about society in America....don't you think ? What a world !

    February 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  110. Joyce Grissom, Marshall, TX

    Nobody ever wants to admit that it is the SS fund that has essentially kept the govt. running. You know they borrow to pay bills. SS does not contribute to the defecit, it has helped it with like the Bush Tax cuts. Projections are based on current payments being made to SS. It's safe for all generations, contrary to what the GOP says. Put people to work, problem resolved. SS can't become like the postal service, suffering only because Congress requires them to pay retirement for longer than those working will probably live.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  111. Brad, Portland, OR

    Right now, only the first $110,000 of wages are subject to the payroll tax.

    If the cap is removed, Social Security will be solvent for more than the next 80 years.

    That's the only change that needs to be made to solve the problem.

    As for cutting benefits, the average Social Security recipient only gets about $12,000/year. No one's living the high life on that. At best, you can phase out or eliminate benefits for the wealthy elderly.

    Raising the retirement age makes no sense... it's already 67 years. Because of rampant age discrimination, many people in their 50s and 60s ALREADY have a tough time finding jobs, even if they're healthy and can still work.

    A lot of elderly people aren't in good enough physical shape to hold jobs, and you want to make them work into their 70s?

    February 16, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  112. Susan from Birmingham, Al.

    To be frank, I'm surprised this program has lasted this long. Social Security always sounded like it was too good to be true. Just allow the gov't to take your wages and they will provide for you when you are elderly and can't work anymore. Maybe older generations like this concept, but younger ones better learn how to save their own money.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  113. Brian Wickremasinghe - Woodland Hills

    Sure it will be there. My kid and all the other kids will pay for it.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  114. LC - San Bernardino, CA

    I worked long enough under Social Security (SS) -and paid into it- to qualify. I then took a government job from which I can soon retire after 30 years with a small federal pension. But – Surprise! I won't get ANY Social Security. Non-government workers can collect both SS and a non-governmental pension but the feds exempt themselves as employers and take back earned SS from their workers. When you see me bussing tables in my retirement please leave me a tip – I'll need it.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  115. PiedType

    I'm already retired, but I see no reason to think Social Security's demise will precede my own - IF the government stops raiding the fund for other things, the retirement age is gradually raised in keeping with an aging population, reasonable means testing is introduced, and meaningful steps are taken to reduce waste and corruption in the system. Of course, that's a very big IF ...

    Denver, CO

    February 16, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  116. Jennifer M in Winnipeg

    Good question, Jack. But if you're relying on the lawmakers and the Whitehouse to get together to do something about it, don't hold your breath. As long as Mr. Obama is in the Whitehouse the lawmakers will go against him just for spite. They couldn't agree on anything that came from of the Whitehouse ..... very sad, but it's true.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  117. SJM

    Congress needs to repay what they have taken from Social Security including interest. That is why there is an apparent lack there.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  118. Michael from Minnesota

    Yes, Social Security will be there, because there will be a gray revolution if it is not. The full retirement age will need to float up significantly, since people are healthier and live longer.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  119. Mark

    If going forward most Americans will not have company pensions (and even some who do, may see these capped or eliminated) then they will be relying completely on their own savings and Social Security for their retirements. Medicare is a thornier and more complex problem, but Social Security seems fairly easy to fix in comparison. How about starting by extending Social Security tax to people who make more than $108,600? Why don't they pay Social Security tax on ANY dollars past this? Most if not ALL these people will collect it when they retire? This one thing would fix Social Security for everyone. Comments?

    February 16, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  120. Jeff In Minnesota

    Will it be there? You bet. Will I see any of what I paid in? I doubt it.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  121. Michelle

    Yes. As long as the Republicans mind their own business and leave the social security system alone.

    San Antonio, Texas

    February 16, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  122. Alan Jeffers

    Social Secuirity will be there when you retire ? possible possible there will be make a a tree how will get money from paper there will not ran out plenty out there in states. let me said something if there is a full get better econoomy future will be firm steady improvement dont spend too much money on wrong pathlike war will be fine and when I was first start and socail security must spend no save money will owes pay back how much owes back will be exuse cause of reason retired is very doubt cause must save money will exuse from everyone 2041 and 2036 ran out of money maybe my time will be up in old age who knows steady live or not. hope everything will be see better or worse dont high hope by now cause tornado goverment now it time for stright up like obama is fixed right now that he said you can do it that mean will not ran dry out money no way plus depend on health reason dont let people die with out food where money go feed them or us my bad said it oh well think twice before boom ! thanks for time and think what is best for you or me !

    February 16, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  123. RickFromDetroit

    YES, but I will be 84 years old when they run low on money, but it would be an disaster if the fund went broke. With 56 million Americans on SSA and the AVG Check is $1200. a month, this is $67.2 billion dollars a month in "consumer spending." This is a lot of stimulus, far more than the $6.00 a week "payroll tax holiday" is providing low income workers.
    Propping up SSA is simple.
    [1] Increase the payroll tax by 1% for the employer & employee.
    [2] Raise the limit of $106,800.
    [3] Tax all income over $106,800 to $500,000 by 10%.
    [4] Tax all income over $500,000 to $1,000,000 by 7.5%.
    [5] Tax any income over $1,000,000 by 5%.
    [7] Standardize on entitlement amounts so we can sustain acceptable consumer spending amounts.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  124. Jamie in St. Louis

    Because the Republican candidates are tearing each other apart right now and the American public has a very short memory. The President has charisma and a populist message that is perfect for a voting public that for the most part has little interest in details or his record of spending and shoving things down our throat like the affordable care act. You won't hear the President talk about his record. All we'll get is a divide and conquer tactic of promising each group what they want to hear even though it won't be accompanied by any details or any hopes of actually happening.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  125. Ken from Texas

    Social Security and Medicade/Medicare already take up more than 60 percent of our budget. With Obama planning more than 4 trillion more dollars of deficit increase and with the working population decreasing...you work the math. Our Democrats believe in giving more and more away...and yes so did President Bush...there is absolutely no way Social Security will remain...and it will dry up before 2036. You could tax the rich at 100% and that wouldn't solve our problems. We must restructure Social Security and Medicade NOW. My children are getting screwed by our politicians. We need to vote all our current politicians out of office...while we educate my fellow Democrats about mathematics.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  126. MICK

    I am social security eligible in 7 years. I am hoping it will be there, but now realize that it may be a pipe dream. I am hoping it will be there at least for a few years, but can't count on it anymore. Scary isn't it? Just adds more stress and worries as we age.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  127. Jamie in St. Louis

    It better be or there will be rioting in the streets. That's our money that's put into social security and it better be there when we need it.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  128. Alison, 29, Los Angeles

    Social Security is a broken system. I would much rather be able to "opt-out" and take the 6.2% I pay (less now with the payroll tax cuts) and the 6.2% my employer pays and invest privately in some sort of retirement savings or IRA account. I'd like to be in charge of planning for my future retirement needs since the government has clearly shown they are incapable.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  129. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    I have serious doubts it'll be there for me when I retire. I'm currently 30 years old and the idea of not having SS benefits by the time I reach retirement age scare me...of course I could always continue to work until I'm 75. If SS goes, I will know who to blame for it..the do-nothing GOP controlled Congress and the not-so-super Super Committee.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  130. Pete from Florida

    Don't be silly, of course it will. When the shortfall becomes large enough, Congress will fix it....and it is an EASY fix! Raise the percentage and dollar amount amount of income that's subject to the FICA tax, and raise the retirement age levels one or two years. Problem solved for another 50 years.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  131. Brian (Illinois)

    I'm already old enought to collect and am. Began at least two years ahead of when I planned to because of the dearrth of job opportunities for folks our age. We no longer officially live in a world where everyone is expected to retire at age 65, many of us have been given no choice because once we reach 50 or at least 55 we are no longer considered marketable by most, and advertisers tend to ignore us as well even if we are a larger part of the society than we maybe were in the past. If SS is to be there for future generations the entire employment landscape will need to be re-cultivated.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  132. David

    I am 42. With the current projections I should get partial benefits while I am retired. We live in a debt ridden society and Social Security is a tax program it is not an entitlement. Eventually the decision will be to abolish Social Security and Medicare or declare the US bankrupt. I am in position to retire debt free, but may need to work without SS. If SS does exist I doubt I could get it until I'm well into my 70's. I would reward any politician with my vote who fixes this. The longer they wait the worse it will get.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  133. DCBuck

    I have a better chance of sprouting leaves than I do in seeing a cent from this collapsing Ponzi scheme if/when I'm able to retire.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  134. PaulBoomer

    Social security. Sounds a lot like socialism to me. Oh, but we don't want to give that one up, do we?

    February 16, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  135. Justin

    The problem is that when social security was started, people were not supposed to live this long. Combined with lazy people not doing their own savings, it has caused a huge problem. Too many people reply too heavilly on the government and therefore they will be screwed. Pure and utter chaos when that all goes down.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  136. SilverHair

    Get all the add on free loaders who never have worked out of the entitlement pie and it's likely to survive quite well. If the add on benefited persons are really entitled – make a separate pie with funding and required contritions.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  137. open400

    They always slam the Democrats on this one calling social security tax and spend. If we had kept the tax code the way it was when entitlement programs were enacted, we would not be in this mess. Bush had a 250 billion dollar surplus which would have generated a 2 trillion dollar surplus by now. Bush gave the Bush tax cuts which cost us 4 trillion dollars over 10 years and the two wars which cost over a trillion dollars –none of that was paid for. The tax code has absurd things like GE pays no income tax. We gave companies a tax credit to send jobs and businesses abroad which destabilized the tax base. If we never had the $106,00 cap on social security and moved the cap to say $500,000 with restricted future benfits , you would not have had these problems as well. Who makes over 106,000? Good GOP voeters! In short, it was the crony capitalism of the GOP and all their tax breaks that has caused the fiscal crisis.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  138. TC in NY

    As a working disabled person, I worry. The tax cut will be bad news for me either way. Either I lost money I need from my bi-monthly paychecks (I work from home, on salery, and don't make much), or there won't be enough in SS to pay my disability benefits (which are about only about 65% of what the article says is "average"). I need my job in order to make ends meet. If only my chronic illness was curable, then I wouldn't need SS at all. But the problem is, at my age, even if I was cured, it'd still be impossible to find a job. Too young to retire, too old to be "young" enough for companies to hire me. I was lucky I got the job I did 8 years ago.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  139. GOP2

    "Lawmakers would either need to cut benefits, raise taxes, or a combination of the two." !OR! we could make it welfare based like it should have been to start with!?!?!

    "Won't happen – at least not now." Surprise, Surprise. How do you expect it to happen when you won't even tell America the truth about the SS being 30 years of its revenues unfunded!?!?

    February 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  140. Sirned

    Of course SS will be fine with a few simple adjustments. This fear mongering has been going on since I was a kid 50 years ago. Same ole same ole scare tatics to privatize SS from the same people. The truth is 28% of an average private retirement goes to the money managers. So you know who has a vested interest in scaring Americans about SS.....

    February 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  141. Corey

    Look S.S. is taking a big hit with the baby boomer generation retiring. That should start to ease as soon as they start dying off. Do these figures take that into account? While I enjoy the payroll tax cut, it is only adding to the strain on the system. It's just like a private retirement. If you underfund your IRA or 401k you will be left with less when you retire. I know times are tough but they are going to be a lot tougher if we keep underfunding S.S.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  142. TheTraveler from Idaho

    "What? Me worry?" (apologies to Alfred E. Newman)
    Every year we hear the same dire predictions, and the same people get their panties in a wad over it. There is no "secure" financial planning for retirement, unless your among the super rich. If and when the US collapses under it's own idiocracy, Social Security will be the last thing anyone will have to worry about.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  143. GOP2

    "Lawmakers would either need to cut benefits, raise taxes, or a combination of the two." !OR! we could make it welfare based like it should have been to start with!?!?!

    "Won't happen – at least not now." Surprise, Surprise. How do you expect it to happen when you won't even tell America the truth about the SS' real status!?!?

    February 16, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  144. Bill in Texas

    Of course Social Security will be around Jack. It says so in your article – if nothing changes, benefits will be cut by 25%, not 100%. I have no doubt that Congress will "find" the political will to begin fixing this after the election.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  145. AB

    Social Security will still be there when I retire and will be there for many generations to come if Congress would just stop borrowing against the trust fund. Social Security was meant to be a self-sustaining, supplementary trust fund and not a congressional piggy bank and a full retirement program for most Americans. Instead of complaining about Social Security, Jack, you, I and all Americans need to tell Congress to leave the Social Security trust fund alone and let it function as the self-sustaining program that it was intended to be.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  146. Mike in Pekin

    It will be there. The question is, how much "security" will it provide. The trust fund won't end, because as long as americans are paying in, money is always flowing in. But a 25% drop in benefits means reducing the average payout to roughly $900.00 per month. The ironic thing is, that if the money each person contributed had been invested in an IRA or 401K, they would probably be able to collect more than twice that in interest without touching the principal. But we can't be trusted with our own money, you know. Better to let the government take care of it, since they have proven to be such effective stewards of our money.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  147. Dave in WA

    Hi Jack,

    I've known since the late 1980's, when I was 10, listening to Rush Limbaugh attack Social Security – that there is no way it will be there when I retire. From what I've grown to understand there is a relentless conservative agenda to take down FDR's safety net. Like the the robot depicted in the movie The Terminator; they absolutely will not stop – ever – until that goal has been met. I just figure by the 2040's this cynical battle will have long since been lost by the middle class to austerity measures and endless media campaigns smearing the word "entitlement."

    February 16, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  148. Chris Houk

    Being in my mid 40's, I don't understand why we don't just agree to eliminate this tax and the retirement benefit. WE can begin to phase this out for anyone under 50 today. It's not like this money is actually being spent on retiree's anyway...everyone knows the money has been squandered on other govt. programs and never repaid....does this sound familiar to anyone????? IF I could keep my money and invest it myself at least i would be responsible for my own retirement.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  149. Norry Sponce

    I'm 51. These same questions were around when I was 22 at my first post-collegiate job, so there is nothing new here. Social Security is a solid program whose only real problem is that its fund is being raided to supplement other spending. With minor adjustment, SS would be solvent indefinitely, and this is easy to do. The first step is to eliminate the payroll tax cap. The second step is to adjust full benefit age in accordance with actuarial realities. Right now, the full age is 67. Gradually adjusting that upwards (e.g., 68 for those under 40, 69 for those under 30, and 70 for those under 20) would not only completely fix SS but probably would produce a generous surplus which could be invested in slightly more creative ways than the base trust fund as a hedge against the more problematic Medicare program.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  150. PRWilt

    No I never planned to depend on SS. But lets get real Jack. The monies are running low partly because our economy is in such poor shape. That is why it is even more important for the government to start acting and big business to not be so greedy. The economy is stagnant and every business is looking for a way to pry more monies out of the middle class. The get big CEO salaries, Corporate profits for the "voting" shares of stocks, etc. If many of them would not be so-o-o-o greedy and look at the fact the economy would come back faster if they helped the economy rather than bleed its middle class dry we would all do better and SS, medicare and medicade would be better funded. Remember the US Government started sacking the SS budget to fund the Vietnam war. Prior to that they were not allow to touch the funds
    I guess if they had solved the problem back then we would not have it now. Amazing what 40 years has done to us.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  151. Amy

    I am 44. No Hope of retirement. My 80 year old mother still works. I have a great full time job with benefits, yet the reality is state and federal funds are diminishing much faster than building. Even though I have a retirement fund, I would guess the state will take every penny of it, yes my money, long before I turn 60 to pay for the retiring baby-boomers increasing health care needs. Illegal you say, wont happen you say. Just watch and see. I have never lived my life waiting for the government to pay for me and I never will. The thing that makes me so mad is that all the money I have put aside for retirement will somehow become the property of the state, which has employed me for the past 20 years. That isn't fair. I should get my own money!

    February 16, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  152. George From Raleigh, NC

    The catch is I'll never be able to retire.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  153. LA Belle

    No, since the politicians have been ponzi-scheming it to pay for other wasteful, unnecessary things that have done nothing but reduce the taxpayers SS funds. They need to have their salaries, retirement and all other perks used to fix the mess they created. Politicians, with no common sense, just didn't know when to quit spending on wars and Trillions to foreign countries.

    Social security is not federal income tax; so it's not there for politicians to build bridges to nowhere, or increase their salaries.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  154. Rebecca from Georgia

    It scares me that SS might not be there when I retire but I don't plan to stop doing something till I'm to weak to.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  155. Terry NJ

    Not the way things are going. My 401K is looking more like a roller coaster route than a financial plan. The best way ti fix it is to make those clowns in Washington part of the system, it would be fixed in a week if they had a vested interest!!

    February 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  156. Barney

    America should be ashamed. This is the single greatest Federal program in the history of the United States of America. This gives security to our elderly who gave productively to this country. RAISE TAXES

    February 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  157. Deb Hickman

    Any SS I see will be considered a bonus.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  158. Bart

    From the beginning of my career I have planned on Social Security NOT being there when I retire and have built my retirement/investment portfolio with that in mind. I'm 43 now. If by some miracle it's still around for me then that will just be a nice bonus, but I am certainly not counting on it.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  159. Michael, Chapel Hill

    Social Secutiry may not be available for me when I retire. Reason:
    1.No govt is interested in fixing it.
    2.We are going to inherit millions of illegals who did not pay to the system but ready to draw out of it.
    3. No reasonable audit of the program for the recepients.
    4. As we move into a Social Welfare state during Obama's second term. even more drastic changes may take place against tax paying citizena.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  160. Ct

    Shouldn't be a big worry for me. Lots of land paid off, lots in 401k and IRA for my wife and I... Sure wish i had the chance to opt out to add more. I'm addicted to saving for retirement.

    BTW what's the chances of them to tax those of us even more that invested wisely for retirement to give to those that didn't? I'd say pretty good. Government has a way of rewarding slackers.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  161. Pete/Ark

    I'll be 65 this summer Jack...if it lasts the projected 29 years I will probably have "dried up" before it does...

    February 16, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  162. David,California

    Not only will social security be there but it will pay more to help make up the lose of pension funds that are going away. Also the unpredictability of returns on IRA's will be a factor. We will pay more into social security during our working years and will have to be alittle older to start collecting,plus there will probably be a means testing. This has to happen in order for there to be jobs for younger people coming into the work force each year.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  163. Julnor

    The SS trust fund is already dry. It consists of govt bonds. In case you hadn't noticed, our govt doesn't have any money. The $2.4T that the SS administration "invested" was spent by the govt. So the govt invested money in the govt and the govt spent the money that was invested. Let's face facts people, that money is gone. It was spent by the generation now wanting that money. I'll be darned if you think my kids are going to replace it. They didn't squander it.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  164. Penny

    We in America have come to depend way too much on our government. Since the money we have paid into the system has not been saved in an interest-bearing fund, I am not expecting to have any social security when I retire. I was born in the very last year of the baby boomer generation, so the funds will be gone by the time I retire.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  165. Brad

    No. And it will be running dry a lot sooner than planned. That's one reason why I do not support the so-called Payroll Tax cut Congress is ballyhooing about. It just drains the coffers that much sooner. The retards in both parties need to start thinking ways to generate more revenue, not less. The US can not pay the bills without it.
    Brad Tarpon Springs FL

    February 16, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  166. Jean Sartre, Milwauke, WI

    Social Security will be there, but thankfully, you will NOT...

    We do have some time to fix whatever issues there are with Social Security... now, just as the economy is starting to recover is simply NOT the time...

    February 16, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  167. Mark Braintree

    No, it probably won't be there, no after two very selfish presidents, the most inept in American history, who should have exercised good judgment and tightened the budget, but instead kept blowing money like there was no tomorrow. We are going down and the final collapse will be a hundred times worse than it had to be, all because our leaders wouldn't be leaders. They were cowards. They continue to print trillions and trillions while pointing fingers elsewhere – anywhere else.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  168. Ken E

    Yes, it will. It is way to important not to. plus, it is funded for many years at 75% Just needs a little tweaking. It is actually a simple fix, a little means testing and raising the limit to $250,000. Then it will be funded for generations.
    The GOP just wants to scare everyone into private accounts so Wall Street can get their grubby hands on the money.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  169. heh

    yes, my whole 40 years life they have been saying SS will be bankrupt by next year/next month/tomorrow, yadda yadda yadda. It is still there despite all the doomsday prophets.
    I think all the hype is from a bunch of conservatives who want to give all our SS retirement money to their banker friends.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  170. Ken


    No, I am 45 and have never planned on collecting S.S. since age 21- it would never last till I retired. We should just plan on phasing it out with people my age. Age 45 and below- no S.S. , Age 46 and above, you get a large percentage of what you thought you would get, and it increases with age. We need to start paying down our debt and this is one way to get started.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  171. Norry Sponce

    Jack, part of the problem is that many people think in sound bites and do not understand the actual program. For example, "David" posted: "Social Security is a tax program it is not an entitlement." This is entirely wrong. Social Security is precisely an entitlement. Just as with any insurance program, if you pay your insurance premiums you are ENTITLED to collect the contracted benefit. It is not welfare, but rather an insurance program. It is not a discretionary part of the federal budget, but a mandatory part of it, therefore the program will not just disappear. Anyone currently paying to the program will be entitled to benefits, although in principle these could be phased out gradually based on how long a person has been paying in, but given that the program is self-funded and can easily be kept solvent, and participants like it, it's hard to imagine a good reason to phase it out other than misinformed ideology.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  172. Penny

    By the way, I think we all need to stop pointing the finger of blame at either political party. In my opinion we need to do away with the two-party system, since they just play political games rather than getting anything accomplished.We also need to set term limits.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  173. Teaparty01

    It won't be unless Congress stops extending the Payroll Tax Reduction and Barry stops this crazy spending. Maybe the Tooth Fairy or the Credit Fairy will bring me a monthy check ?
    I should ask John Bohner and Nancy Pelosi to personaly guarantee my monthly check. Her hubby has the big bucks.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  174. Jim


    I don't count since I'm already retired. But I think some form of SS will be there for today's workers. It may have transitioned to a system where everybody contributes to their own eventual retirement fund, and future pensioners may have the ability to specify the investment of some portion of their own fund, but some kind of SS will be there. It's just too beneficial to be allowed to die on the vine.

    Reno, Nevada

    February 16, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  175. XplainPlz

    Social Security is a classic example of a great concept poorly implemented. What started out as a simple program to help SUPPLEMENT seniors' income – a noble idea – has devolved into a Ponzi-scheme like government-funded pension that a wide range of non-seniors are also eligible for. However, it is still pitched by it's supporters as a supplemental program. Why not call it what it has become -welfare – and fund it as such. At minimum we could at least get rid of the extra layer of administration and save some money. My wife and I have no expectation that SS will be available to us when we retire in 10 years. Although we have both been forced to pay into SS since we started working in our late teens, I doubt that we will never see any return on our money. Therefore, our retirement financial plans do not include SS. Instead, we fully expect to see our retirement investments (401Ks, IRAs, etc.) taxed to support SS. As a life long Democrats we tend to support social programs, but SS has degenerated into a complete failure.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  176. Ken E

    Justin, when SS started the average was much less, but if you made it to 65 there is not a huge difference as there is now. Back then many people died young, people didn't have the healthcare they have now. There was a high level of infant mortality, many diseases that are now treated where not back then.
    Most jobs people can't save enough to retire. You will be glad the day you turn 65 and get your first SS check, which will come every month. Hopefully Wall Street won't continue it's 401K destroy ways of the last decade and people might even have some money saved.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  177. Sam - Lexington, KY

    I absolutely don't expect Social Security to be here when I retire (29 now). I'm not planning on the government to figure out how to cut spending at any point before the entire house of cards comes tumbling down. I pretend the money I'm paying into it now goes to my grandparents and that at least lessens my anger that I'm forced to pay into a system that's a complete disaster.

    Social Security may have been an idea that had merit when it was created, but it has obviously outlived its useful time period and needs to go the way of the dinosaur. Continuing broken fixes on broken government programs is only going to prolong suffering for the American people and waste even more money.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  178. babs

    Social security is a guaranteed part of the social contract between our government and us. It is the most successful government program, responsible for keeping the aged out of poverty. Any republican who advocates substantially reducing social security will have a very short political future. Case closed.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  179. Richard in Mexico

    I'm 70 and collecting social security so unless I'm reincarnated, I'm not worried.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  180. pvadakkemadam

    Bernie Madoff went to jail with his Fonzie scheme. Who are we going to put in jail when social sec, another fonzie scheme goes bankrupt. Bernie not paying investors is similar to pushing soc.sec age farther and farther. Singapore PF system allows each one to contribute for retirement which they get it back and not distributed as socialism. I know people who have never worked in this country one day yet get soc.sec and medicare.To top it all their sons and daughters are super rich doctors.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  181. Tyler G

    Well Jack ..I have to admit.
    I do not know.
    I am expecting it, however.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  182. Kyle - Utah

    No I don't. I also don't count on my military retirement being there either, or at least accessible like I planned to supplement the loss of social security and I'm just now entering active duty.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  183. Clay


    What retirement would that be, Jack? What country have you been living in for the past ten years?

    February 16, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  184. Matthew Wolf

    Social Security and every other government entitlement program are all jokes. I am a college student and i feel like im being ripped off paying for older peoples benefits knowing that i will not recieve benefits down the road. It should be done away with. Every person should pay for the

    February 16, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  185. John Foster

    The U.S. Mint wants to make cents and nickels out of cheaper metals. A few of those each month is all we will get in the future for Social Security. Right?

    February 16, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  186. Jean Sartre, Milwauke, WI

    FYI: Congress has stolen 2.76 TRILLION DOLLARS from the Social Security Trust Fund since President Johnson moved the fund into the General Revenue HOLE. Congress thus has 2.76 TRILLION DOLLARS of its own IOUs left in this Social Security Trust Fund. This is money Congress took out to pad state budgets, build bridges to nowhere and other truly unnecessary expenditures.

    SOLUTION: Garnish the wages of all members of Congress; Garnish the extravagant PENSION FUND of the entire Congress and reduce/eliminate all Congressional perks, until this money is paid back...

    February 16, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  187. Jeff

    Will America even be here when we retire ?

    February 16, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  188. judy bird

    My 42 – year – old son has been saying for years that Social Security will not be there when he retires. Obama is making sure of that with the so-called "payroll tax cut", which is the money that funds Social Security.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  189. Steve in Seattle

    Of course it will be there for me, because I'm a Baby Boomer and I vote - along with the rest of my generation.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  190. Erik

    With the way the economy has been, I'll be lucky to ever be able to retire. In any event, if SS is not there, I want all my money back. I should have had the option of investing it myself in the first place, rather than have it forcefully extracted against my will.

    Denver, CO

    February 16, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  191. DAVID - Florida

    I am already retired. My question is: will it be there before I die

    February 16, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  192. Chris Rodriguez

    Every paycheck I contribute to Social Security fully expecting that unless something catastrophic happens in my life, I will never see a dime of the benefits.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  193. Matthew Wolf

    Social Security and every other government entitlement program are all jokes. I am a college student and i feel like im being ripped off paying for older peoples benefits knowing that i will not recieve benefits down the road. It should be done away with. Every person should pay for their own retirment expenses. PERIOD.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  194. Burbank from CA

    After paying into it since 1968 it darn well better be there for me – otherwise I have literally been robbed by the government! Forcing me to pay into something and then not paying when it's time is stealing, plain and simple.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  195. Tom Barrister

    Jack, I think the government will take steps to ensure that the fund will be solvent. A better question is: will the world be there when we retire? With nuclear weapon use by some country or terrorist group being all-but-imminent in the not-too-distant future, it's likely that a lot of us won't have to worry about retiring--or being alive.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  196. Brian

    My wife and I are 32 and are planning on a retiring without the support of social security. Honestly, every American should not be relying on social security. We live a lifestyle based upon the money we made five years ago. The rest of the money that we save is for our children's education and our retirement.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  197. Dave Smith

    I we pass a law banning all additional retirement benefits for members of Congress and any other high level Federal officials, you can bet with absolute certainty that Social Security will be humming along happily when we retire.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  198. us1776

    The last 30 years of GOP unfunded wars-for-profit have added $11.5 Trillion to the national debt.

    And starting as far back as Reagan the GOP has stolen TRILLIONS from the Social Security Trust Funds.

    The GOP just did all this so as to make it look like our safety net programs were some kind of problem when in fact it was the criminal GOP who stole the funds.

    The GOP deregulates the banking industry who then ends up playing loose and fast with the publics money and ultimately crashes the financial system and the economy.

    The GOP is nothing more than a criminal enterprise whose sole purpose is to destroy the American middle-class.

    So will SS be there? Yes, as soon as we get GOP to put back the stolen money.


    February 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  199. Martha Campbell

    I was forced to take early SS at age 62 and it isn't all that much. I still have to work part-time to make enough money for my monthly expenses, so I hope it's there for those, who like me, will need it in their later years. Of course if Santorum gets into office and ties it to the stock market...it will be gone long before 1936. Be careful who you vote for...your'e liable to get him.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm |

    At 90.....I am not terribly worried

    February 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  201. Betty Canter

    Where do you get your figures? The average person on SS does not get $1200. If the Government hadn't robbed the SS Fund for the last 50 years it would be forever solvent. BC

    February 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  202. Joe S

    No – SS won't be there for me because they cannot even do the easy stuff like removing the elimination of the tax on wages over $100K. That's a no brainer...

    February 16, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  203. Darrell in Virginia

    If the republicans prevail, then I'm concerned about it being there while I'm already retired.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  204. Jansley, from Long Island, NY

    Seeing as I am only sixteen, no. Social Security has outlived it's "efficiency period", if you will, and pushing to save it will only result in more financial hardships for the average American. I wish I could confidently say that I look forward to retirement, but I actually fear for what I'll have to live off of when I am 65.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  205. pad

    I am getting mine and the way people vote I do not know how long it will last. Good luck Jack!!!!

    February 16, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  206. Mike - Pittsburgh, PA

    I know it won't be there. Congress never should have been allowed to touch contributions made to Social Security. I remember when Al Gore was running for President. People made fun of him because he said the surplus should have been put in a lockbox for Social Security. Unfortunately, Congress spent that money in Iraq. Maybe Al Gore was right?

    February 16, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  207. Lisa from Portland, OR

    It COULD be an easy fix.

    If our congress put THEIR money into Social Security, it would be solvent. But since our lawmakers get to put their retirement monies into accounts which can never be pilfered, their retirements are rock solid. Funny, no one ever mentions the guys in charge of our money don't have any personal risk.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  208. ozzie in texas

    I have 20+ years untill I would be eligible. It's hard to say. Would I bet on it? no. Do I expect it, or a check for what I've paid into the program? you bet ya.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  209. June Craig

    Why won't anyone ever discuss raisibg the cap on Social Security? I'm a teacher, and I pay Social Security Tax in every paycheck. Why don't all the rich guys like you pay Social Security in all your paychecks?

    February 16, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  210. ee

    Some go as far as calling SS a PONZIE scheme! Perhaps there is some truth to that statement

    February 16, 2012 at 5:23 pm |

    Being 90....I am not terribly worried

    February 16, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  212. John

    It'll be there IF they fund it. This is not news. It all depends on whether they make it a priority, or if instead they decide you should keep working until you're dead. In our society of "screw you" when it comes to health care, pensions and people wanting to pay less taxes AND wanting corporations to pay less as well, something's gotta give. It very well may be social security.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  213. Sean Williams

    I hope it will not be there for me – to be clear, I hope it will be there for those that need it, and I hope I don't need it. Given that I've had two separate pension funds completely wiped out in the last 10 years, I probably would need it assuming I get to retire. Despite kickstarting a 3rd pension fund and living frugally, my realistic retirement involves my coworkers finding me slumped at my desk. Sorry guys ... there will be a spray in the top right drawer if I happen to be there over a long weekend. And yes, you can take all of office stuff.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  214. Janeen E

    Periodically I get 'statements' from Soc. Sec. that advise me what my SS income would be depending on my age at retirement. Taking the economy and ever rising costs on EVERYTHING and I determined years ago that there would be no SSI Benefits for my generation. (I am 41)

    February 16, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  215. Jack - Toledo

    Jack, Only if third world retirees receive similar benefits. Not until the American worker is on the exact same pay and benefit level of the poorest of the poor third world retiree will our corporate owned government be satisfied that no more profits can be extracted. I saw my grand father receive pension and social security. I saw my father receive pension, 401K match, and social security. To date, have never been offered a pension, or a 401K match, now they are after my earned and paid SSI. My plan is to retire, wait until the sheriff kicks me out OF MY HOUSE, then I'll commit a crime such as lying to congress and retire on them government anywa;, with 3 hops and a flop plus State or Federal health care.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  216. Jack, Houston

    Well considering the fact that I am only 17, I do not believe that Social Security will hold out for my benefit. Nonetheless, when the inevitability of the failure of Social Security materializes, it must be replaced by another system. If the government does not do so, then a future nursing home might look more like an impoverished 3rd world country than a bingo and shuffleboard metropolis. I'm just wondering where the government will get the money to dish out transfer payments for World War III Veterans. Maybe I'll be able to gain from that.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  217. Frank

    Im a 25 year old law student and I think there is not a chance social security will be around for my generation. Lets be honest, it's my generation that's going to suffer from our ballooning national debt.... Fortunately, I'm confident it's also my generation that will ultimately be able to turn things around. If you're generational peers could just just get us national health care maybe we'll forgive you guys for this mess.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  218. Kenneth Krieger

    The Republicans always shoot themselves in the foot by wanting to cut both Social Security and Medicare and Obama and the Democrats do not care about either because those people will not vote for them. At the same time the wild spending from the Democrats mean that it will not be there. No means no on Social Securty and Medicare and both parties are at fault. Ken Krieger Cape Coral, Florida

    February 16, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  219. Hjens

    Not if the Republicans have their way. But the GOP is moving so far to the right it may not even be part of the political spectrum by the time Social Security goes broke - and by then maybe the Democrats will come up with a sensible way to fund it.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  220. Ray Beaufait

    Absolutely... The Republicans have been saying this BS since SS was created. We will make the adjustments, either higher taxes or stopping stupid wars created by politicians. Any benevolent country will always take care of seniors. Is the Republican party, who want to privatize SS, which is absolutely wrong for America, really this heartless.

    Ray Beaufait

    February 16, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  221. Ken in Gaithersburg, MD

    It will if we're willing to pay for it. According to the Social Security actuaries, the trust fund would be solvent for the next 70-75 years if: (1) the FICA tax were raised by 2.1% - split 1.05% for wage earners and 1.05% for employers; or (2) the limit on income subject to taxes were lifted (why should 90% of Americans pay taxes on 100% of their income and 10% pay only on fraction?); or (3) if FICA taxes were re-imposed on incomes over $250,000 (but benefits would not be based on the higher incomes, as in plan 2). Look it up; it's on the web. Then there's the demographics issue. People could, if they wanted, have more children. Birthrates have been falling, thus the smaller ratio of payers to beneficiaries. Or we could allow in MORE immigrants and increase the population that way.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  222. David Ayres in Nevada

    I am 57 years old and I can remember when my dad took me to sign up with SS when I was 6 years old. I still have my original SS card. What a proud moment that was. I have been paying into SS since my first job at 15 years old. What a disgrace that the Congress, which writes federal budgets has been stealing that money from the retirees all these years. Yes I hope it will still be there otherwise the US government played me as a huge sucker. Sincerely

    February 16, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  223. Nice try US

    Why is it that thedeficit has increased at a fster rate under O and the Democrat led Senate than under Bush and the Repubs? Sorry if facts get in the way of your so called argument.....

    February 16, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  224. Cathy

    I would like to think that it will be when I'm ready to retire in 5-8 years. I'm concerned because of the talk of a "means" test. Does this mean if you've worked and saved a little that a person may not qualify for social security? And if you haven't saved you do qualify? Also, I understand Medicare cost approximately $250/per month/per person also. Hope we can afford to live.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  225. Barton

    Al Gore got it right when he ran for the presidency saying we need to put a lock on the social security box, but HW Bush won and when the wars in the middle east broke out HW broke into the social security money box to pay for these very costly wars. Subsequently this move jeopardized our social security benefits.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  226. Gail

    Social Security has been gutted in the past mostly by the republican party whose desire is to rid the country of all supports for the middle class. Unfortunately, President Obama is doing the exact same thing by lowering, or attempting to lower, the payroll tax which is the primary funding for SS. So his actions fall in line with the wish of the Republican party. This is not good. Also, the upper limit salary on which payroll deductions are made, now $106,000 should be increased. This has been done numerous times in the past. For that matter there should be NO upper limit. And Why is it a payroll tax and not separate INCOME TAX????

    February 16, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  227. Don Knapp


    I predict a large majority of commenters will say they think Social Security is in big trouble and is at risk of going away. I further predict roughly none of those who feel that way will change spending or saving habits. So, how much are we really concerned?

    Goodfield, IL.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  228. Christopher Zimny


    To tell if I'm going to collect my Social Security in fifty years or so (I'm 19 now), I liken it to the following situation: The President and Congress can commendably handle their own affairs on Capitol Hill, so they can certainly manage my retirement account... right? I know I will never see that money. As it stands, Social Security is an additional tax for general government use, though under a different name. It whisks away 6.2% of personal income and uses that wealth to further wreck the economy. I prefer Ron Paul's Social Security policy that will let anyone under 25 years of age to opt out. It's not perfect, but it's certainly better than the present system.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  229. Lance - North Carolina

    I know it won't be there. So much money has been taken out of the so called "lock box" for other federal projects over the years that current retirees are only being supported by current workers. Both parties are responsible for this issue and most people paying attention have known this fact for some time. I know that my future is based on my decisions on my retirement fund investments and not on the Social Security Tooth Fairy.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  230. Yuri from florida

    Jack. Social security is flawed because government never predicted baby boomers to live this long. And they do live long and often miserable lives after they hit retirement age. Swallowing 20 pills with every meal, depending on medicare and medicaid to help survive another day because medication allows them to LIVE with sickness and disease rather than die from it. So government of course is tapping into other resources such as social security to help pay to keep aging population alive. Well Jack I am fed up. Like 401K I want my social security deductions to go towards MY retirement or is that too much to ask Jack?!

    February 16, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  231. Brad

    I have payed the maximum into SS for years and don't expect to see one cent from this "trust fund" if and when I decide to retire. I wish that I had all of that money and had the opportunity to invest it myself – I would be MUCH better off.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  232. Jim in Houston

    I am 60. I expect that I will get some social security, but I cannot count on it. Especially if President Obama gets re-elected. He never wants to have workers get anything unless they belong to a union. He only wants to give things to those who do not work.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  233. Jack - Toledo

    ack, Only if third world retirees receive similar benefits. Not until the American worker is on the exact same pay and benefit level of the poorest of the poor third world retiree will our corporate owned government be satisfied that no more profits can be extracted. I saw my grand father receive pension and social security. I saw my father receive pension, 401K match, and social security. To date, I have never been offered a pension, or a 401K match; now they are after my earned and paid SSI. My plan is to retire, wait until the sheriff kicks me out of my house, then I'll commit a crime such as lying to congress and retire on the government anyway, with 3 hops and a flop plus State or Federal health care.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  234. Ron - Farmington, NM

    Jack, to start with, President Obama and the Congress are deciding to give away $100 bln of Social Security money as a payroll tax cut to workers, not counting the previous tax cut last year. It's a game to make SS insolvent. The riots in Greece don't get much air play because that will be us in a few years. Our government and election process is broken and the financial system is a house of cards. I'm on SS now but I think it will be greatly reduced for younger generations and maybe for me too.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:28 pm |

    No I doubt it will be there,that should be considered a crime! The American people are being rob daily by our own gov.maybe members of the gov.should put some of their salary in the kiddy? When we take a loan we have to pay it back, why doesn't the gov.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  236. Disappointed Dem in Colorado

    I am 40 years old and I have worked and paid into the Social Security system since I was 16 years old. I believe in the pay-it-forward concept of the SSA, but I find the way that politicians have manipulated the system unconscionable. The SS fund has been raided throughout the years and the current sham of a payroll tax cut has technically depleted funds further. If all of the "borrowed" funds were repaid and the "lockbox" applied, I am confident that it would be there for me when I retire in 25-30 years. Without these drastic protection measures, I'm afraid that it will not be there for me. – Disappointed Dem in Colorado

    February 16, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  237. Harry

    Absolutely will if they decide to get that payroll tax cut from the federal side rather then the social security side.Then a couple small tweaks (raise the age requirements & remove the cap) and we are fine.Otherwise fix the economy and put folks back to work 😉

    February 16, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  238. Randy in Afghanistan (Deployed Soldier)

    No social security will not be around and I hope that it won't be and that I can get that amount of my paycheck back monthly. I am saving and planning for retirement and I still have a long time left to work...why shouldn't everybody else? Additionally, why should I have to pay for a group of people that, based off of the comments on here, don't care about the generations behind them. By all accounts, the "baby boomers" will be the first generation to leave their children worse off than them and it appears that they are happy to do so. If nobody is willing to make changes that can benefit people then it needs to be cut altogether and do an amazing thing and let people decide what is best for them and their money for the future. Of course, many of the people now in office are baby boomers and they won't do anything, on either side, to damage their own immediate interests. I, for one, feel that politicians and their proposals are only looking out for votes right now and not what is best for the country for the long term and because of such narrow minded thinking social security, as well as other programs, will pay the price. So take note America and start making your own decisions like this country's founders intended for us to do.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  239. skarphace

    As we speak, the government (both Democrats and Republicans) are phasing out Social Security. You now pay 4.2%, down from 6.2%. This should be the hint. They can talk all they want about Social Security going broke, but when they reduce the revenues at the same time? Watch out.

    If you are not currently taking that extra 2% and investing it, then you are making a mistake. When the rate falls to 3.1% (which it will), you should start investing 3.1%. If you are under the age of 55 and you are not investing in your own retirement, then expect to be very poor, very cold, and very hungry when you are old because Social Security will not be there when you retire.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  240. Walt

    Here is a classic example of things gone wrong. As long as you let that lid off the cookie jar the politicians will be grabbing a snack as often as they can. I worked hard for the govt for 37 years and also worked a 2nd job for a long time. Some of us believed that extra hard work to support our family and not looking for free handouts would pay you back when you became older. I paid into SS for many years working 2 jobs and now that Im turning 62 i have been told since I have a higher retirement from the years working in a Govt job that I am not qualified to draw any of the money I paid into SS. So it appears that if you work they would rather give the benifits to someone that is just sitting on their butt or crossed into this country illegally.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  241. Ken in MD

    I've always assumed that it won't be there when I'm ready for it, and did my retirement planning accordingly. I'm now 50, and am glad I did that. It's looking less and less likely that there will be much left. As more and more baby boomers retire, and the younger people can't find jobs, the fund is getting worse. And if the Republicans have their way and privatize it, the well will run dry even sooner as overhead eats up more of the fund, and fewer people contribute to it.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  242. chip arnold

    I'm going to dig a bomb shelter in my back yard, fill it full of beef jerky and beer and wait for the end of the worl...errr...social security. It's the only rational option left.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  243. Becki

    I'm of an age that won't cause me to worry. But the coming generations will have problems collecting as long as they keep the ultra spender Obama. My cat knows more about economics.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  244. Tom Nebraska

    When Social Security started the averagle life expectancy for a white male in the US was 64. Now, if you're 60 you can retire with bull benifits at age 67 but the life expectancy for a white male today 78 years of age. If you run those numbers you shouldn't be able to draw benifits until you are 76 years old. We are livning longer so I guess we should be working longer. I don't plan on retiring until at least the age of 68, 5 more years, but then I don't plan on relying totally on Social Security. I may have part time work somewhere in retirement instead of just sitting around...........

    February 16, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  245. Basil Cooper


    According to The Wall Street Journal simply removing the cap on earnings subject to Social Security taxes and paying benefits accordingly would fund Social Security for the next 70 years. I doubt that very many people would object to a few billionaires receiving $200,000 per year in SS benefits if they had first put $20-30 million into the system. It's such a simple solution to the problem that I doubt that the republicans in congress would ever allow it to be implemented.

    Huntsville, Alabama

    February 16, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  246. Stan Riverside

    Jack There are ways to help to sustain SS, such as , tax it like earned income. This would not hurt people in the low income brackets.Just raise the exemptions to a slightly higher level. The longer people who can retire stay in the workforce the less jobs available for younger people entering the workforce. Do not ever privatize it. That would be a license to steal for wall street.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  247. ron mich

    Hell No, about having Social Secutirty in the near future. No as long as Congress keeps siphoning and robing the SS fund at the rate they have been for the past 50 years. They have already stole over 3 and one half TRILLION DOLLARS from it now and they say they want to FIX it? How is that going to be done? Just liuke they FIXED it to get it where it is today? Get rid of this Congress and start over and we Might, just Might have a chance in America. When are people going to wise up and admitt that Congress. this Congress, is the fault for over %90 of out problems.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  248. Susan From Montana

    Not a chance. Too many people receiving benefits that shouldn't be and all of us baby boomers that will retire all at once. We will break the bank.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  249. John from Oregon

    This question feeds the misperception that SS is on it's death bed. Two simple fixes...take off the cap which allows people to avoid paying on ALL of their earnings...and 'means test' who receives the SS benefit. The SS system was conceived as a 'safety net' for those of us who for ANY reason found themselves in financial straights in their golden years. We owe it to the long term health of our Union to be sure that this safety net remains intact. If you are fortunate enough to have, let's say over 200K income and you are SS eligible, you don't need it, but your nation needs it for the 'commonwealth', a word that has been demonized along with 'welfare'...both were used extensively by our founders. 'Corporations' is a word that was never mentioned in our founding documents.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  250. Grim Reaper

    Will it be around-sure, but for who Jack. Minimum SSI payments for those with nothing. For those that paid in the most they're either going to get nothing or it will be reduced based on what they get from outside sources. The government will sell it as SSI was set up as a safety net like insurance not as a retirement account. And for those that worked the most or paid in the most well Jack, it's part of their fair share. We're all a bunch of Social Suckers-and there's another one born every minute. Campaign on that.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  251. Tyler G

    Jack ..as long as America keeps going down the track it is going (not Obama's fault), we will not even have a federal government. We'll be in anarchy.
    So, really, I do not know how to respond.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  252. Julie, San Francisco Bay Area

    RE: Social Security being there for me when I retire... no not really. I'm in my late 40s, I'm unemployed, though I have a degree (which I got at age 39), I've been unable to find a permanent job. For 5 years, I was only able to get temporary jobs. And though I've wasted a lot of time (since 2009 especially) applying for permanent positions (while on unemployment), jobs are very hard to come by – even those that pay $10 or $12/hr. I can't even get temporary office work anymore now it seems. The situation just seems to be growing worse & worse. And the California government & the Obama Administration don't seem to be doing much about it. I have no faith in government whatsoever. They care nothing about the people they represent (except maybe a select few). I don't think there'll be any Social Security by the time I retire (in 20-25 years). I actually feel like I'm already retired or being forced to be. Anyway, It may not matter much anyhow – since I'm not working, I'm not putting any money into it. So, any kind of check I get in 20 or 25 years, will probably be very small. I just hope the world ends by that time, so I don't have to suffer much in my old age.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  253. PaulMN

    There will be "means testing" at some point in the future to determine who will receive Social Security, and who will not. I lived a very modest lifestyle, living well below my means and investing fully in my 401K for the past 30 years. I drive a 15 year old truck and live in a small house. "Unfortunately", I have accumulated enough money to satisfactorily retire and will likely "fail the means test", in that I now have enough of my own money to sustain me in my retirement. My reward for living my life responsibly and saving for retirement is that I will likely not get Social Security payments in my retirement..

    February 16, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  254. skarphace

    There is only one way to save Social Security: means testing. The fact that the government is not even mentioning this possibility should be very telling. Neither party wants to save Social Security. They won't tell you so, for obvious reasons (see the Ryan plan), but behind closed doors they are not discussing how to save Social Security, but rather how to wean us off of it.

    So they came to a plan. They will gradually reduce the OASDI rate until it is so low that we are basically not paying into Social Security. At that point, who are we to complain when they tell us that we won't be receiving benefits? Oh, don't get me wrong, we will still complain. However, nobody will be able to say that we didn't see this coming.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  255. Ray

    If I started a business that operated this way and decided to spend all the money my clients put for their retirement before they can use it, I would go to prison.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  256. Justin

    I've assumed for years Social Security wouldn't exist for me when I retire. In fact, I'm going to go ahead and assume that I will have absolutely no government support when I retire (35 years or so). For those of us who won't retire for at least 30 years should expect to be on their own.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  257. Ron

    If the government is allowed to borrow from the fund, it won't be there! If they payback what they owe the fund It will be there! When I retired at 65 I was supposed to get 1600 a month SS. I had a serious accident and cannot work anymore, the social security adminstartion forced me to go off SS disability and forced me to retire at a loss of 400.00 per month because they say I retired at 62 rather then 65. Wasn't my idea! So, if the government can control our ss benefits that way, Im sure they will find a way to use the money for themselves and close down the program. QUESTION! why is it that a congressmen or a senator can serve 4 years in office and retire with a huge retirement for life I think its pretty close to what they made while serving in office. Maybe if they didn't get that much, The retirees would be able to still have money in the Social Security program!!!!

    February 16, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  258. marybeth, massachusetts

    No, I don't think SS will be there. Congress has been stealing from it since it was moved into the general fund and they haven't replaced what they stole. The payroll tax holidays/breaks aren't helping it either, because these are the taxes that go into SS. Stop collecting those taxes or lower them, and then SS isn't funded, or isnt' funded enough. Don't forget that Paul Ryan and other republicans, including ALL of the republican candidates running for President want to eliminate SS. Vote for them, and you can kiss SS good-bye tomorrow.

    At one time, SS was meant to supplement the pension your employer provided for you and your own savings....the 3-legged stool. This worked until employers decided to eliminate pensions for workers (but still provide multi-billion dollar pensions to their executives, CEOs). Stagnant wages plus sharp increases in the costs of living (rent/mortgage, food, insurance) means that workers have a hard time saving money for the future...they need it to make ends meet. Now they want to take away SS, which we've paid into all these years and give it to the greedy banks and corporations and Wall Street and to the wealthy 1%. The idea is to make the wealthy wealthier, to kill the middle class, to everyone not in the aristocracy in poverty.

    Congress could fix it so SS is solvent forever:
    1.) remove it from the General Fund and put it in "lock box" (Al Gore was right);
    2.) increase the payroll tax and raise the amount of the tax that goes into SS.
    3.) raise the retirement age (when you're eligible to collect SS)

    My grandparents lived through the Great Depression; didn't trust banks, there were no regulations under Hoover. No SS, no retirement, no nothing. One kept his money in his mattress, another kept his in a sock buried in the yard. Sadly, we're going back to that era.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  259. Jarrod Rager

    In 40 years Social Security will exist, although none of us will recognize it. I am 28 years old and firmly believe my fate and the fate of my family rests in my hands alone. God help the country and those who can't care for themselves, I'll figure out my own survival plan.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  260. Bill from Maine

    There better be!

    February 16, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  261. Betty

    where do you get your figures? The average person on SS does not get $1200. If the Government had not robbed the SS Fund for the last 50 years, it would be solvent forever.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  262. Josh


    I am a 26 year old law school grad, and I am not planning to ever draw on SS. However, I find the idea that it might not be there for my generation very disturbing. There are far too many people my age that are not equipped to support themselves now, when they are in prime health. How can we expect them to be able to support themselves when they are 65?

    February 16, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  263. skarphace

    Look at it another way. For those 55 years and younger, we will decide when we retire. The only reason there is a mention of 'retirement age' is for Social Security reasons. So we will retire when we have enough in savings and investments to fund our retirement.

    Oh, you didn't save or invest for your retirement? Well, I sure hope you like that Wallmart job because you will have it until you die. Good luck!

    February 16, 2012 at 5:57 pm |