By Dave Lindorff
I was explaining to my 26-year-old son recently that while I’m continuing to work as a writer, because I waited until age 70 to begin collecting my Social Security benefits, I am now collecting almost $29,000 on top of what I earn doing my freelance journalism thing.
He said, matter-of-factly, “Well, I and most of my millennial friends don’t expect Social Security to be around when we reach your age…if we ever do.”
If that gloomy sentiment is widespread, and I believe it is (one recent poll found 71% of workers don’t think they’ll get Social Security), it’s no accident. There are a lot of scare-mongers out there, most, but not all of them Republican politicians and conservative pundits on cable and radio programs. These shameless shills for Wall Street’s investment industry are spreading the lie that Social Security is a “ponzi scheme” or that Social Security will go bust before young workers today ever get the benefits that they currently 6.2 percent of each paycheck deducted, supposedly to pay for.
Here is an example of the scare tactics:
“Social Security Will Be Insolvent in 16 Years” screams an article in the ironically named libertarian magazine Reason.
Another approach, popular in the financial advisory business, is to first tell people that fears that Social Security will go belly up, leaving future workers with nothing are “overblown,” but then to add that if nothing is done, the benefits they are supposed to get could be cut by 20% in 2034. That reduced benefit is an amount that could indeed be covered indefinitely by the payroll tax on current workers from that time going forward, but it would make Social Security even less adequate for funding retirees. This second attack on the system is typically followed by an admonition on the importance for current workers, especially younger ones, to “save and invest” (great advice to give if you’re an adviser earning fees for “managing” that money!).
But it’s all a lie. So here’s my message to you young folks like my son: Social Security isn’t going away, and it’s not going to even be cut 20%. In fact, the odds are that benefits in the future will be getting raised, not cut.
How can I say this? Isn’t the country getting grayer, with older retired people becoming an increasing share of the population? Aren’t old people taking all the money out of the Social Security Trust Fund and running it down to nothing, leaving nothing for their kids and grandkids?
Let’s get a few things clear…
For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, the uncompromised, collectively run, six-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site, please go to: https://thiscantbehappening.net/you-will-have-social-security-just-like-your-parents-and-grandparents-if-you-fight-to-keep-it/