Sam Smith offers some perspective on social security:

1. The trustees make three long-term estimates. The one that politicians and the media invariably use is the most pessimistic which assumes economic growth so low that you certainly wouldn’t want your Social Security invested in the stock market because it wouldn’t be going anywhere. Using the more reasonable intermediate projection, the trust fund will not run out until after 2040.

2. The trust fund is an artificial accounting creation If it runs out, then Social Security can be funded from other sources including the incredibly bloated military budget. To understand this game, imagine the defense budget came out of a trust fund. Would we stop defending ourselves when this fund was drained thanks to typical defense cost overruns?

3. While it is true that there will be an increase in older Americans in coming decades, there will also be a smaller percentage of younger Americans to educate and take care of. In considering public costs, it is the combination of these two – the so-called dependent population – that matters. Here is what you are not being told: the dependent population was larger during the Kennedy administration than it will be in 2020 during the Great Social Security Crisis. Incidentally, as of 2000, the total dependent population was 39% so we’re talking about a one point increase.

In short, you are being conned on Social Security and the media is doing nothing to defend you.

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