Question of the Day

If Congress had never changed the original Social Security Act of 1935, how much longer would the program be solvent than the Social Security Administration's current best estimate?

Correct Answer

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If Congress had never changed the original Social Security Act of 1935, the program would have become insolvent before 1980. The Social Security Administration's current best estimate is that it will become insolvent 16 years from now. Thus, the correct answer is 1980 minus 2035, or negative 55 years. Contrary to the common belief that politicians have looted Social Security, they have actually extended its life by repeatedly raising its payroll tax rate, increasing its inflation-adjusted taxable maximum, and adding other taxes to the program. This has placed progressively higher Social Security tax burdens on successive generations of American workers. To keep the program solvent after the next 16 years would require raising payroll taxes by another 25%.

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