Did the government make a Social Security goof?
Academics warn that agency officials are using outdated calculations and have severely overestimated the money available for retirees.
The fiscal cliff has been averted for the moment, and Congress is continuing its latest game of financial chicken with a new target in sight: the upcoming debt ceiling. But two academics say all this political brawling is taking attention away from another crisis looming on the nation's horizon: Social Security.
Samir Soneji is a demographer and professor at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, and Gary King is a professor of government at Harvard. On Sunday, the two boiled down their recent findings in an opinion piece for the New York Times.
According to King and Soneji, the Social Security Administration has grossly underestimated the money it needs for retiring Americans "to the tune of $800 billion by 2031, more than the current annual defense budget."
And if nothing is done, they say, the Social Security trust fund will run out two years ahead of current government predictions.
The professors say two major issues have led to these serious miscalculations.
The government’s forecasting methods for Social Security have barely changed since the program’s creation during the Great Depression -- "even as a revolution in big data and statistics has transformed everything from baseball to retailing."
And that outdated mode of forecasting, the professors note, has failed to take into account crucial factors about longevity -- especially the fact that Americans are living longer and healthier lives. Better treatment of cardiovascular diseases and a dramatic decline in smoking, they say, "are adding years of life that the government hasn’t accounted for."
The professors believe the nation faces some stark choices if Social Security is to be saved. Among the options they suggest are raising the retirement age to as high as 69 or 70, increasing payroll taxes, limiting annual cost-of-living adjustments and reducing benefits.
They also point to new research that suggests that retirement, while popular, may in itself reduce a person’s life span "by breaking lifelong routines and disrupting deep social connections." And with that research in mind, they wonder if retirement should be optional.
Given modern demographics and statistical analysis, professors Soneji and King think now is a great time to open a public debate about Social Security’s future. The constant political bickering in Congress may make this suggestion seem odd, they say -- but "the longer we ignore the problem," they warn, "the more disruptive any change will need to be to keep Social Security alive."
More on Money Now
- Self-driving cars roll into CES
- College football wins more fans and ad dollars
- Sushi mania: 489-pound tuna sells for $1.76M
The Dartmouth Institute is funded by "Conservatives". That often means the Koch Brothers, who want to destroy Social Security, Medicare and anything that takes money out of their $50 Billion dollar holdings. Apparently they have figured a way to "take it with them". They fund many "Conservative Groups" and have infiltrated State Legislatures, Think Tanks and Research organizations across the Country. They are also behind the push to privatize Education. Go to your local library and order "Koch Brothers Exposed", a Documentary that will open your eyes and mind.
There is nothing wrong with Social Security that a little tweaking wouldn't cure-.i.e. eliminating or raising the cap. We should not raise the age of retirement which is 67 an age at which most people are dealing with more than one health issue. Besides there are kids out there waiting for those jobs. Fear and disinformation are the main tools of the radical right wing (so called Conservatives) who through large Corporations own the media and they are fully supported by Wall Street whose greed knows no limits. Write your Legislatures and Obama. Thank Harry Reid for his refusal to back down on Social Security during the so called Fiscal Cliff--a media propaganda ploy.
Reform Social Security To Allow All Who Have Completed Their Quarters To Withdraw Their Monies (All or Partial) Untaxed!
Say yes to my petition on the whitehouse site
well folks i have an very good idea why dont we all have a very good revolution.
i mean a very good revolution. but no guns. we and i just refuse to pay any taxes to the us gov.
if then congress cant get our money then they can go home to live.
i know that if we do this then we all go to jail but how is the gov. going to do this if 160,000,000 people
refuse to pay this outrages taxes there is not enough land large enough to put us in
since this means that the congress & the gov. can not get any money to build this enormus building
there are other things that i want to express my feelings. but only now WE ALL MUST STOP PAYING OUR TAXES TOGETHER WE WILL WIN THIS REVOLUTION .
After 50 years of hard work & good pay,a series of back operations rendered me disabled.I have two issues when I read posts that even consider lowering benefits.I have lowered my standard of living considerably,and have 300 mo to cover variable expenses and (groceries and fuel)Many months when employed I didn't even NOTICE the small deduction for SS.I was schocked when told I was to get a raise for the last 3 mos of they year,NO SOCIAL SECURITY DECUCTIONS Really,with the money I made,I this was hardly an issue.I believe all citizens should be taxed w/o any cieling.Higher incomes allow investments,dividend income as well as 401K's.A 250 K/yr individual would have other assets during retirement.Every one is not a disability bandit.Those of you who think a non-contributor should be exempt from benefits?Think about the child that had the misfortune of being born profoundly retarded. Should the Social security withdraw her ability to live in an institution?I firmly believe that economic cycles are slowing the system down,and we need to review and "tweak"the policies,but the most money was taken(re-allocated) by our own government,and therefore went,and still flows,into the pockets of the opportunistic politicians.This country has become the land of the corrupt oportunistic,anyone can play A different skew on"The promised land of opportunity!'
yes kids do get ss and if their parents know how to work the system the parents can quit work and get paid by the government to take care of their own kids. I know this is true cause i have a cousin who does this. all of us people who go to work everyday need to band together and do something because only the working people are going to suffer(more than we already do) in later years. and also it bugs me that people on foodstamps buy big juicy cuts of meat while i look for clearance hamburger. I dont want anyone to go hungry but a lot of people who have never had a job make a living selling their excess food. or they let someone use their card and pay them 50% cash for food.
Like working with people? Independent? Looking for work that’s actually fun? Put your skills to work from home.
Earn up to $20 an hour. We are growing especially in this economy. We have positions open for those who are independent and self motivated. We are looking for organized and professional candidates.
No experience necessary. These are entry level positions. Proven system is helping people every day.
We provide all training. We have full and part time available.
You make your own schedule.
For job description and to apply send email to (email@example.com).
Follow the link to sign up.
WHAT ABOUT ALL THE
MONEY THE GOV. HAS TAKEN OUT AND NOT REPLACED !!!! LIES AND MORE LIES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!THEY CAN NOT BE TRUSTED ......................................................................................
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market began the last week of July on a quiet note with the S&P 500 ending less than a point above its flat line. Like the benchmark index, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) also posted a slim gain, while the Russell 2000 (-0.5%) and Nasdaq Composite (-0.1%) lagged throughout the session.
The major averages were awakened from their weekend slumber with an opening retreat that pressured the S&P 500 below its 20-day moving average (1975). Even though ... More
More Market News
'We're not exactly in a uniformly strong market,' says the notably pessimistic newsletter publisher.
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'