The Government Pulls a Bernie Madoff on Social Security and Lays Out the Sad Truth
Sunday, October 24, 2010
When Bernie Madoff realized he could no longer meet all the demands of his investors that wanted their money, he walked into the offices of the SEC and admitted as much.
The government has just pulled a Madoff. They have admitted that they don’t have the money to pay everyone out they have promised to pay out via Social Security. Specifically, those under 30 are going to get really screwed.
Business Insider’s Bruce Kasting explains how bad the situation is, but keep in mind that this is based on CBO projections, and there is no chance the CBO has run the truly negative scenarios, where the government can’t pay its Treasury debt–which is mostly what the Social Security Trust fund holds. Factor that in and the odds drop for everyone that they are going to get paid in full :
CBO looked at all of the scenarios regarding Social Security. They ran a total of 500 simulations that reflect the different variables of the puzzle. The analysis assumed that there would be no changes in current law on SS. The objective of the exercise was to quantify the probabilities of which generation would most likely not get the benefits they were (A) paying for, (B) entitled to and (C) expecting.
The results of the CBO analysis is that there is societal/economic trouble in front of us on this issue. It should come as no surprise to readers that if you are young, you have a problem. The CBO report defines which generation(s) will be hurt and by how much. I found their conclusions to be very troubling.
If you were born in the 1940’s the probability that you will receive 100% of your scheduled benefits is nearly 100%. The people in this age group will die before SS is forced to make cuts in scheduled benefits.
If you were born in the Sixties things still do not look so bad. Depending on how long you will live the odds (76+%) are pretty good that you will get all of your scheduled benefits. However, if you were born in the Eighties you have a problem. The numbers fall off a cliff if you are between 30 and 40 years old today. In only 13% of the possible scenarios you will get what you are currently expecting from SS. If you were born after 1990 you simply have no statistical chance of getting what you are paying for. The full CBO report can be found here. This (hard to read) chart is from that report.