There is an email in circulation that basically gives a moderately inaccurate history of social security in the USA, and makes some statements that are technically incorrect, but still fairly portrays (with a few errors) the broad sweep of changes in the system since it begin in the 1930s under FDR. It is an example of well-meant and over-the-top reporting that would have done better to be scrupulously accurate. Scrupulous accuracy would have revealed the situation as bad enough without the errors in the report.
Snopes attempts to debunk the email with a lot of explanation and clarification here. What’s sadly funny is this: the Snopes people seem to believe that their explanation somehow makes it all better, when what they end up admitting is nearly as bad as what is alleged in the original email. Especially risible is Snopes’ attempt to de-link the Democrat party from increases in SSA taxes, increases in SSA benefits/spending, and congressional misappropriation for other purposes than originally intended, by using smokescreens like “borrowing from the social security ‘trust fund’,” etc. Sure, a few Republicans erred here and there. But it was overwhelmingly Democrats who pushed the spiraling ponzi scheme.
An example: FDR did not “promise,” as alleged in the email, that the tax to fund SSA would only be 1% forever. What he did, in the time-honored, incrementalist tradition of leftist-liberals everywhere, is create a system where the initial tax would be relatively light, and would increase slowly, over several years, so that most people who even understood what was going on at the time thought the tax would only be 1% for the forseeable future. (How many people in mainstream USA at the time carefully reviewed legislation in detail, with all planned future changes, before forming an opinion of it?) It is now a total of 15%, half directly out of your check, half “paid by the employer,” but in fact part of the employer’s cost of having you as an employee, by federal law. It is going to go up, and the income ceiling that will be taxed is going to go up.
I hope you younger folks enjoy paying for my benefits. Serves you right for voting for Democrats, in a spasm of hopey-changey good feeling. We’ll see how good you feel when you’re paying for my 30 year vacation after retirement.
Read the Snopes article, and see if you don’t find Snopes’ defense to be nearly as damning as the email was in the first place.
Exit question: does any person who knows anything about the history of entitlement programs believe that when a national health care system for everyone is created, it will cost as little as proponents claim at its founding?
Only people with their eyes screwed tightly shut, and earplugs snugly in place.