The Social Security Fantasy

Ah, yes, Social Security. The third-rail of American politics—any politician who tries to change it dies politically. It’s almost taken on a sacred nature to some people. Well, their sacred idol is about to tumble.

Lost in the mass of coverage on the healthcare bill was the news that this year—2010—will mark the first year when Social Security will take in less than it pays out. In other words, it has officially become insolvent. It will keep on running for a while; politicians always find accounting tricks to help them. But the day of reckoning is now much closer.

I hope you didn’t really believe you have a Social Security trust fund sitting there waiting for you. You know what’s really in that “nest” the government has created?

I realize that may come as a shock to many. It’s so shocking that it will be hard for some to grasp.

It’s time to face the truth. If you’re counting on Social Security to help you through your retirment years, you are believing a fantasy.

But didn’t the government promise? Of course. Government is great at making promises, from FDR to LBJ to the current temporary occupant of the White House.

Are we going to learn from history this time?