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The myth that’s become a full blown Social Security conspiracy

Contributor Eliana Block cites The Social Security Administration and three independent experts who concur that no funds have ever been misappropriated from Social Security or its Trust Fund.  One of the experts, Alex Lawson, states unequivocally, “”By law, the funds that are contributed to Social Security can only be used for benefits and to administer the program.”  The source of the myth is likely because the Trust Fund used to be included in the government’s “unified budget” until 1990.  After 1990 the Trust fund was taken “off-budget,” meaning that the Fund was shown as a separate account in the federal budget.  But the money didn’t disappear.  It was just given a new name.

Social media fans the flames too with stories of the program going “bankrupt” or funds being “depleted.”  Social Security will never go bankrupt as long as workers contribute payroll taxes, but over the next 15 years all past reserves will be spent to keep paying recipients their full benefits.  Without reform before 2035, the reserves will be depleted, and the program will only be able to pay out around 80 percent of promised benefits, consistent with the lower revenue expected to come in due to changing demographics.  Read full piece here.




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