View Full Version : Social Programs: Social Security Disability

04-25-2012, 08:24 AM
A report came out that the SS disability trust fund will be broke in 2016. I mentioned this when someone close to me, who I know relies on SSDI payments, told me he was canvassing for Obama. He asks:

"So what solution does Ron Paul have to fix SS problems. None of the candidates have given a fix for securing our SS benefits."

How would you respond?

04-25-2012, 08:33 AM
Ron Paul will honour the promises made to those that have contributed to these plans. He has said so. He will do this by cutting 1trillion in federal spending, ending foreign aid and balancing the budget in three years. At the same time he will try to phase these programs out by allowing individuals to choose whether they wish to enter these programs or control their own financial future.


04-25-2012, 08:03 PM
This is one issue where I have troubles seeing the numbers add up. Allowing people to opt out of Social Security of course means no money coming in to pay the commitments made to those who have qualified for benefits- which Ron has pledged to do (this year's payments come from social security taxes collected this year). Now I would not expect everybody to opt out but anyone opting out means we need to get more revenue from some place else to cover that (or cut something else). Otherwise you would also accelerate the time until it becomes insolvent rather than solving the problem and delaying it.

Before you can cut $700 billion (the cost in the 2010 budget) to cover those costs, you need to cut another $1.3 trillion (the amount of the deficit for 2010) if you want to balance the budget. That totals $2 trillion in cuts. Here is the 2010 budget: See where you can take out $2 trillion from it. Can't cut interest on the debt and he said he would honor commitments (not cut) Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Of course you could do it via more taxes but he is opposed to those as well. You will be left with a budget of $1.55 trillion if you can do it.


Mandatory spending: $2.173 trillion (+14.9%)

$695 billion (+4.9%) – Social Security
$571 billion (+58.6%) – Unemployment/Welfare/Other mandatory spending
$453 billion (+6.6%) – Medicare
$290 billion (+12.0%) – Medicaid
$164 billion (+18.0%) – Interest on National Debt

Discretionary spending: $1.378 trillion (+13.8%)

$663.7 billion (+12.7%) – Department of Defense (including Overseas Contingency Operations)
$78.7 billion (−1.7%) – Department of Health and Human Services
$72.5 billion (+2.8%) – Department of Transportation
$52.5 billion (+10.3%) – Department of Veterans Affairs
$51.7 billion (+40.9%) – Department of State and Other International Programs
$47.5 billion (+18.5%) – Department of Housing and Urban Development
$46.7 billion (+12.8%) – Department of Education
$42.7 billion (+1.2%) – Department of Homeland Security
$26.3 billion (−0.4%) – Department of Energy
$26.0 billion (+8.8%) – Department of Agriculture
$23.9 billion (−6.3%) – Department of Justice
$18.7 billion (+5.1%) – National Aeronautics and Space Administration
$13.8 billion (+48.4%) – Department of Commerce
$13.3 billion (+4.7%) – Department of Labor
$13.3 billion (+4.7%) – Department of the Treasury
$12.0 billion (+6.2%) – Department of the Interior
$10.5 billion (+34.6%) – Environmental Protection Agency
$9.7 billion (+10.2%) – Social Security Administration
$7.0 billion (+1.4%) – National Science Foundation
$5.1 billion (−3.8%) – Corps of Engineers
$5.0 billion (+100%-NA) – National Infrastructure Bank
$1.1 billion (+22.2%) – Corporation for National and Community Service
$0.7 billion (0.0%) – Small Business Administration
$0.6 billion (−14.3%) – General Services Administration
$0 billion (−100%-NA) – Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)
$0 billion (−100%-NA) – Financial stabilization efforts
$11 billion (+275%-NA) – Potential disaster costs
$19.8 billion (+3.7%) – Other Agencies
$105 billion – Other

The $1.3 trillion to balance the budget wipes out nearly every single dollar in the "discressionary spending" category and you still need to find $700 billion MORE to cut if you want to replace Social Security funding lost due to people opting out (if less opt out then obviously you need to replace less money but you have already cut everything just to balance your budget).

04-25-2012, 08:37 PM
A more realistic approach to the Social Security problem would be a gradual raising of the minimum ages to qualify- when SSI was founded people mostly only had about a decade on average to collect benefits and now that is over 30 years for some- and as some have also suggested a possible means testing- if you earn over a certain amount you don't qualify. Currently the maximum taxable income for Social Security is $110,100. http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/240/~/2012-social-security-tax-rate-and-maximum-taxable-earnings

Update: The official site for Social Security says that average life expectancy for a person who reaches age 65 today is about five years more today than it was in 1940 when the program was started. http://www.ssa.gov/history/lifeexpect.html Overall life expectancy back then was lower because more died in childhood and never made it to adults. Once they achieve adulthood, the life expectancy has indeed risen, just not dramatically as numbers may suggest.