There's been a lot of confusion about Social Security recently, specifically about President Bush's plan to overhaul it and restore it to solvency. Or just tear it down, as the case may be. In the interest of educating my millions of readers, here are some fun facts for you to enjoy and share.
- Social Security costs us 4.3% of our GDP, and is projected to rise to 6.6% by 2078.
- Social Security's surplus funds are stored in the OASDI trust fund, which is projected to grow until 2018, when taxes will no longer be able to keep up with benefit payouts.
- Due to the aging of the "Baby Boomer" generation and inflation, the current level of payouts is expected to increase dramatically over the next few years.
- The OASDI trust fund is expected to run out by 2042, requiring benefits to be cut by 27%.
- Invaders from Planet X will declare war on The Federated Republic of Eurasia in 2056. No projected impact on Social Security.
Bush has started to lay out a bold vision for the future of Social Security. Some highlights:
- Part of your Social Security tax contributed will be diverted to
privatized private personal Happy Fun Money Win Win (HFMWW) accounts. Taxpayers will have a choice of funds to invest in.
- Social Security benefits will be preserved for retirees and near-retirees.
- People who support the current Social Security setup will be branded as Communists and sent to detention camps for re-education.
- Every 10th male baby born will be sent to Washington, DC, where it will be fed to Dick Cheney. He will use the resulting energy to power his laser eye-beams, allowing the US to conquer 2-3 additional non-nuclear foreign countries per year.
- Social Security payroll taxes will not be increased.
- In order to cover the increased Social Security losses due to the diversion of some of the payroll taxes towards HFMWW accounts, registered Democrats will not be allowed to receive Social Security benefits. Independents will receive a 50% payout. Any remaining gaps will be plugged by borrowing from Medicare.
- In order to reduce the amount of benefits paid every year, heterosexuals over the age of 90 will be turned into Soylent Green, which will then be destroyed to preserve its price. The same will apply to homosexuals over the age of 75.
- Bush's plan is modeled after the federal government's Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), which has been very popular and successful, but with a few key differences.
-- Where the TSP had a meager, socialist-like 57 cents worth of administrative fees per $1000 invested, Bush's plan will have a capital-intensive, economy-boosting cost of at least $3 per $1000 (and probably even higher).
-- Where the TSP has government matching funds, promoting a welfare society, Bush's plan will have no matching funds at all. Matching funds are for girlie men.
-- Where the TSP funds are voluntary and are in-addition to the Social Security payroll taxes, the investment in the HFMWW accounts will be taken from the same pool of taxes, reducing the amount that make it into OASDI and reducing guaranteed benefits.