Here’s the mystery: although most Americans say they support cutting government spending in general, they nevertheless oppose cutting any specific program — least of all the so-called entitlement programs that are driving today’s torrent of spending: Social Security and Medicare.
Eduardo Porter has a piece in The New York Times blaming Wall Street for the fact that the average American is allegedly going to run out of money in retirement. According to Porter, the average working family nearing retirement has just $104,000 in retirement savings — obviously not enough to keep someone afloat for twenty or thirty years. I’m not convinced that we are in fact facing a “retirement crisis.” But I want to set that aside. What’s interesting is who Porter blames for this problem.
You’ve probably heard this before: America is facing a serious debt crisis. Economists estimate that the unfunded liabilities for Social Security and Medicare amount to roughly $200 trillion. That’s about $400,000 per American.
This month marks the 79th anniversary of Social Security and the program’s finances are in disarray. The numbers are jarring. Social Security faces $23.1 trillion in unfunded liabilities, according to the program’s trustees, and if nothing changes, by 2033, payments will have to be cut by almost a quarter. The longer we wait to act, the more circumscribed our options will be.
The S&P recently came out with a report on how inequality is allegedly dampening economic growth. If you’re following the debate over Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-First Century, don’t miss this analysis from the Tax Foundation or this article from Don Boudreaux.
On the July 16 edition of Coffee & Markets, Brad Jackson and Allysen Efferson had me on to discuss my new book on Social Security, how FDR’s program has hurt American self-reliance, and my End the Debt Draft campaign.
Let me share something with you that’s a little personal. One of the greatest sources of joy in my life is my one-year-old daughter, and my wife and I are eager — that’s too weak a word, actually — to have another kid. But we simply cannot afford to.