Thursday, March 04, 2004

Entitlement of Silence The scary part about this column from George Will is that no one will have the courage to do anything about it until the problem is so bad we have to do something drastic. Politicians will always put demonization of their opponents over accomplishment every time. The quote below illustrates the problem. Social Security is essentially a welfare program. You may pay into it while you work, but you collect much more than you pay do to the program's poor rate of return. The additional problem with recipients like Mrs. Fuller is that she never worked so she never even contributed to the fund, yet collected from it. As these number show, that's unsustainable.

On Jan. 31, 1940, a check, number 00-000-001, for $22.54 was issued to Ida May Fuller of Ludlow, VT., making her the first recipient of recurring monthly Social Security payments. Then, in an act of dubious citizenship, she lived to 100, dying in January 1975, having received $22,000 in benefits. That did not matter because in 1940 there were 42 workers for every retiree. Today there are 3.2 to 1. In 2030 there will be 2.2 to 1.

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