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URL:  https://boards.fool.com/benefits-promises-far-exceed-dedicated-tax-32158225.aspx

Subject:  Re: Attitude Question - SS Date:  3/14/2016  4:18 PM
Author:  ptheland Number:  79309 of 97361

Benefits promises far exceed dedicated tax revenues:
http://www.concordcoalition.org/social-security/social-secur...


I suppose that depends on your definition of "far exceed". The chart at that link roughly matches information I've heard elsewhere, but it is drawn to fool those who aren't paying close attention. The bottom of the chart is not zero. The visual difference between the two lines looks far larger than it really is. Had the bottom been set to zero, the distance from the bottom of the chart to the income line would be 3 times the distance from the income line to the expense line. This is an exceedingly common way to manipulate charts to make them tell whatever story the creator of the chart wants it to tell.

Starting somewhere around 2050 receipts will be about 75% of promised benefits. Clearly, that situation can't exist indefinitely,** but it's also not a situation where all benefits stop completely. Worst case, retirees and the disabled will have to take a 25% cut in benefits across the board. Of course, that pain will not be spread evenly, and how it is spread is a question requiring serious political discussion and not the sound bites we typically get from the news media and politicians. And internet discussion boards.

--Peter


** I suppose it could continue indefinitely, but the shortfall would need to be made up through some combination of taxes (other than the current Social Security tax), borrowed money, and outright printing of money.
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