Do Social Security's financial problems stem from politicians looting the program and spending the money on other programs?
The claim that SS has been looted is a common fiction, but by law and in practice, all SS income can be used only for the SS program. What some call "looting" is actually a legal requirement (established in the original SS Act of 1935) that all of the program's surpluses be loaned to the federal government. The government is required to pay back this money with interest, it has never failed to do so, and it has been doing this since 2010. Social Security faces financial problems primarily because of a falling ratio of taxpayers to benefit recipients. This has been caused by (1) increases in life expectancy without comparable increases in the retirement age; (2) the higher birth rate of the baby boom generation compared to other generations, and (3) the increasing number of people receiving disability benefits.