To the editor:
Over the past few months, I have heard so much misinformation about Social Security that I feel compelled to set the record straight. I worked for SSA for 29 years and represented SSA employees for several years. I’ve learned a great deal about how the program works. So here are some facts for your readers to consider:
1. Social Security does not account for our current deficit problem. In fact, Social Security neither increases nor reduces the federal deficit since the program is entirely self financed.
2. Social Security is not a Ponzi scheme because Ponzi schemes rely on false promises to convince unwary people to give money. Social Security’s funding stream is 100 percent reliable and its promised benefits are required to be honored by law.
3. Social Security is in no danger of going bankrupt. The system has a huge surplus, enough to pay full benefits to every retiree for the next 22 years. After 2033 without any changes, SSA will pay 75 percent of benefits based on conservative economic projections. More optimistic economic forecasts predict that full benefits will be paid past 2086 without any changes.
Cuts in SSA’s administrative budget will result in less employees, office closures, employee furloughs, longer waiting times, difficulties in getting interview appointments, delayed claims, increased backlogs and more overpayments due to oversight reductions.
The myths your readers hear from “news” commentators are based not on truth, but on a desire to undermine support for the Social Security system.