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The sad truth is that the Social Security system provides an easy way for the government to borrow money.  When the annual total revenues from payroll deductions exceed total payments to Social Security beneficiaries, the federal government still spends the difference, leaving a Treasury IOU in the Social Security “trust fund.”  Yet this gravy train will end soon in light of demographic realities.  As the proportion of working to retired Americans falls, we will soon reach a point in which Social Security payroll taxes will not cover current expenditures.  At that point, FDR’s Ponzi scheme will come crashing down, and even leftists will (we can only hope) understand the difference between a federal transfer program and genuine savings and investment.