From Kevin Drum at Mother Jones.
“Social Security costs about 4.5% of GDP. That’s going to increase as the baby boomer generation retires, and then in 2030 it steadies out forever at around 6% of GDP.
That’s it. That’s the story. Our choices are equally simple. If, about ten years from now, we slowly increase payroll taxes by 1.5% of GDP, Social Security will be able to pay out its current promised benefits for the rest of the century. Conversely, if we keep payroll taxes where they are today, benefits will have to be cut to 75% of their promised level by around 2040 or so. And if we do something in the middle, then taxes will go up, say, 1% of GDP and benefits will drop to about 92% of their promised level. But one way or another, at some level between 75% and 100% of what we’ve promised, Social Security benefits will always be there.
This is not a Ponzi scheme. It’s not unsustainable. The percentage of old people in America isn’t projected to grow forever. Lifespans will not increase to infinity.”
Claims from those on the Right of a crisis in Social Security are not based in fact, but instead on ideological preference. They don’t like the program and want rid of it. They use budget deficit hysteria as a convenient excuse to say we need radical cuts to Social Security.