Category Archives: Social Security 101

I.O.U.S.A.: 2008 documentary examines the budget deficit and spending obsession that has Social Security on thin ice

I.O.U.S.A., one of Roger Ebert’s Top Five Documentary Films of 2008, explores the impact four major economic deficits are having, or are projected to have, on our country in the next several years.

The film follows David Walker, former U.S. Comptroller-General, and Robert Bixby, director of the Concord Coalition (a bipartisan advocacy group for balanced budgeting and responsible federal spending) on a tour to educate the public about our growing national debt–at the time, over $9.6 trillion.

Today, that number has more than doubled to $21.1 trillion.

First and foremost of the four economic deficits examined in the film is our glaring budget deficit. At the time of the film, Walker and Bixby focused on the $53 trillion in unfunded Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security that will, in their estimation, require a massive tax hike or a dramatic cut to government spending.

Meanwhile, the federal government relies on the surplus funds from payroll taxes to pay down other debts, shifting debt from general expenditures to Social Security and continuing to deficit spend.

I.O.U.S.A consults the experts for their takes on what needs to happen in the next several years to repair Social Security’s solvency without further damaging our deficit.

“Social Security Surplus Myth” explains everything you need to know about where our Social Security dollars have been going since 1969

Everyone knows what the Social Security program is and the basic gist of how it functions: it’s a federal retirement benefit program we all pay into via the payroll tax during our working lives, and once we retire, we receive a monthly benefit payment for life–a benefit funded by the money we spent years contributing… Continue Reading

“E**********s”: the dirtiest world in the Social Security dictionary

CONTENT WARNING: This blog post contains explicit language that may be considered offensive. Reader discretion is advised. …Entitlements.   We know, we know. It’s an upsetting word, but it’s what the federal government officially uses to describe our benefits–like it or not. But despite just being a simple word the government uses to describe a… Continue Reading

What do weasels have to do with Social Security “reform?”

The weasel is a small mammal from the Mustelidae family–the largest family in all of Carnivoredom. Weasels and their close relatives are found in nearly every place on Earth. And like their domesticated cousins, ferrets, weasels stand out for their short stubby legs and long slinky over-cooked bigoli bodies. The weasel’s noodliness–and the awkward tumbling,… Continue Reading

Professor of Economics Allen W. Smith explains the looting of our Trust Fund on the Jeff and Mike Show

Dr. Allen W. Smith was Professor of Economics at Eastern Illinois University for 30 years before his retirement in 1998.  Devoting his retirement to writing full-time about the intersection between public policy and economics, Dr. Smith published The Looting of Social Security: How the Government is Draining America s Retirement Account in 2004 and THE BIG LIE:… Continue Reading