Guest Post: The Social Security System Is Already Broke

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Jim Quinn from The Burning Platform

Free Shit "Disabled" Army Massing Its Forces

Whenever I hear a liberal MSM talking head say that Social Security is not a problem, I want to throw something at the TV. Obama and Romney both declared the Social Security system sound. They lied to the American people that it will only require minor tweaks to keep it solvent for a hundred years. Liberals hate math. The Social Security System has an unfunded liability of $18 trillion. This means our politicians have promised $18 trillion more than they can possibly pay out. I guess $18 trillion is trivial to a liberal minded person like Krugman or Obama. Lucky for them that 99% of all Americans don’t understand what unfunded liability even means. The chart below gives the gory details. The Social Security system had a negative cashflow of $47.8 billion last year, after running a $48 billion deficit the year before. You may notice that 77% of this deficit was created by the SSDI program, where the depressed masses gather after their 99 weeks of unemployment run out. Do you have a headache? Are you depressed because liquor stores don’t accept food stamps? Did you pull a muscle getting on your government provided rascal? Trouble hearing your Obama phone? Then you are eligible for SSDI.

The funniest line item on the chart is the Assets at End of Year line, which shows the Social Security system having $2.7 trillion. Even using this funny number, the SSDI will be broke in three years. Al Gore told us this money was in a lockbox. They take it out of your paycheck and put it into a fund, waiting for you to retire and collect what you’re owed. Right? Wrong! If you tried to observe the vault with the $2.7 trillion on deposit, you’d be looking for a long long time. You see, the noble politicians in Washington DC took the $2.7 trillion and spent it on undeclared wars overseas, ethanol subsidies, investments in Solyndra, turtle crossings, tax breaks for hedge funds, TARP, bailing out AIG, subsidizing GM, $800 billion stimulus packages, cash for clunkers, homebuyer tax credits, predator drones, DHS, Sandy relief and thousands of other buckets of shit. There are nothing but IOU’s in the vault. The $2.7 trillion is long gone. The U.S. government had to borrow $47.8 billion to fund SS last year. They will have to borrow over $50 billion this year. There will be 10,000 per day turning 65 for the next decade. The borrowing will rise exponentially. If the $2.7 trillion actually existed, why would we need to borrow?

The trust funds are required by law to hand over all surplus revenues to the Treasury and the Treasury then provides “special issue” non-marketable bonds—essentially electronic IOUs—to the trust funds in return for the cash. These “IOUs” become part of the national debt. When the Treasury pays “interest” that increases the value of the Social Security Trust Funds it does so by increasing the number of IOUs it owes the trust funds. When the Social Security program runs a net cash flow deficit, as it has in the last three fiscal years, the Treasury needs to borrow cash from the “public” to keep the program funded.

Does this look like a trend that is going to reverse itself or level out with 10,000 Boomers turning 65 years old every freaking day?

These costs will be exceeding $1 trillion per year in the near future. Meanwhile, the number of workers per retiree will continue to fall as it has for decades. In 1945 there were 42 workers per retiree. In 1965 there were 5 workers per retiree. Today there are less than 2.5 workers per retiree. There are only 1.6 full time private workers for every one retiree. With Obamacare working its magic of destroying jobs across the land, there is much less revenue going into the Social Security System. The system is unsustainable and ignoring the problem will not make it go away.

A recent article on Bloomberg below barely scratches the surface of the massive fraud going on in the SSDI program. Those who think we owe them a living are faking disabilities by the millions. The number of annual applications were flat at 2.1 million per year between 2004 and 2007. They now exceed 3 million per year, as the Obama administration has actively attempted to get more people on the dole. In a matter of a couple years, there were suddenly 40% more people getting disabled. Amazing!!!

Shockingly, as 1.4 million people have been kicked off the 99 week unemployment rolls, the number of people applying for SSDI skyrocketed. Just because the scumbags on Wall Street and in the rest of corporate America commit fraud on a massive scale does not mean we should look the other way when lowlifes in our community do the same thing on a smaller scale. The working middle class pays the bill for the cost of both frauds. More than 90% of all the people who go onto SSDI never go back to work. This program was supposed to be short term until people could recover and go back to work. There are now 8.83 million people so disabled, they supposedly can’t work. There are only 12 million officially unemployed people in the country. The government is so incompetent, they barely check the applications for SSDI. Anyone with an ounce of brain power (this disqualifies anyone on MSNBC) knows that at least 50% of the people on SSDI are capable of some form of employment.

The Social Security system is already broke. The money is gone. Pretending all is well is for fools and there are millions of them in this country. If someone within the leadership of this country was honest with the American people we could fix the Social Security system. A combination of age adjustments, means testing, and reconfiguration of income levels subject to the tax could make it viable. Too bad Washington is inhabited by snakes, scumbags, liars and knaves. Corrupt lowlife politicians, lying liberal media whores, and a delusional populace will ignore the Social Security problem until it becomes a crisis of epic proportions. Then they will propose wrong solutions and implement them badly. Some things are easily predictable.

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Anusocracy's picture

Fraud or no fraud, where do they get the right to live at someone else's expense?

Get rid of welfare and bring back charity and you will end the fraud.

Matt's picture

It isn't supposed to be welfare, it is supposed to be a form of insurance. However, it is (mis)managed by government, so it doesn't work properly and it is compulsory.

sessinpo's picture

And if you were intellectual, you would realize that SS is a pyramid scheme and should exist in the first place. Then you wouldn't be making ridiculous posts to a ridiculous thread.

donkshover's picture

Just watched R Reagan in The Killers   he wasnt bad   Angie Dickinson  now that woman had a great ass!

dolph9's picture

A couple of points:

1)  Social security is only broke because we insist on having a military empire and a healthcare welfare state as well; politics is about compromise and making difficult decisions, something which is not done in Amerika anymore because we have infinite debt creation to satisfy all of our wants

With appropriate political willpower, social security would be solvent.  Of course, we will never muster the appropriate willpower, so it follows that social security (and indeed the entire federal government) is bankrupt.

2)  Despite this, I still do not believe in social security.  It's government theft of private savings.  Savers who accumulate should be rewarded by a stable money system.  Those who don't save should meet their evolutionary end.

Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

When your young you get pussy,when your old you get 'Puss'n Boots"

q99x2's picture

Don't throw something at the TV. Throw the TV out the window. That's what did 3 times until I finally quit watching them for good.

joego1's picture

Fifty BMG into TV with piers talking about ssi riots and if we had only taken his advice on gun control.

kchrisc's picture

Do you all remember that photo of "W" in front of the SS "lockbox?"

He's standing there looking at and holding a binder full of US Tresuary bond records. That's the "lockbox!"

Funniest thing ever and what I always see in my mind whenever SS is discussed.

The link:


helping_friendly_book's picture

Since "W" said it; it must be true!

He is such a noble and honorable soul!

Where is a gun nut when you need them?

They shoot children instead of war criminals?

q99x2's picture

I don't trust the US Treasury or the FED so I do not believe that the way the monetary system is run and budgeted is anything like what is let on. Therefore I like to believe that the elite that have stolen the wealth over the last 100 years will pay for things until they decide to kill us...which will be soon.

Tango in the Blight's picture

If they kill us Quinn won't have to pay much for SS.

hairball48's picture

I'm on  early SSI. The system as currently structured is beyond broke. 

One question I have is: after the coming collapse, what will I get per month in the "new currency", the dollar, or whatever comes out the other side of this coming financial shitstorm?

There's not a doubt in my mind that those of us on SSI will have to take a "significant" hit in terms of real purchasing power in the next few years. The math simply demands  be done. It doesn't matter what, the President, the ChairSatan at the Fed, or  the morons in Congress think, or do.

If I receive  the equivalent of 1oz of gold/month today, What I will receive 3 years from now? expressed in oz's(fractions of an oz).



Vidar's picture

Zero. Without the fedgov, there is no SS, and the end of the dollar will be the end of the feds.

socalbeach's picture

Let's say you get a 1% cost of living increase per year, but prices rise by 6% per year. Then after 1 year your purchasing power (PP) will be 1.01/1.06 or 0.95283 of what it was initially.  After 3 years you will have 0.95283^3 (0.95283 times itself 3 times) or 0.865 of your initial PP.

Plug in whatever numbers you think are reasonable.  A 2% SS cost of living increase combined with 10% inflation per year gives you a PP of 79.7 cents on the dollar in 3 yrs.

hooligan2009's picture

i recommend you comple a list of bankers that receive millon dollar bonuses and ask them if you can do some work of some sort for them..doesn't have to be manual..could be intellectual..anyway..invoke the "scrooge" premise and ease their consciouses by giving you money; sell it to them as a tax benefit. i think there are around 25-30,000 of these high "earners" out there..and there are probably a few hundred within a short trip of you. try not to steal the jewellery, but this would give you a fast track to a few ounces of gold.

cranky-old-geezer's picture



One question I have is: after the coming collapse, what will I get per month in the "new currency", the dollar, or whatever comes out the other side of this coming financial shitstorm?

There won't be any govt default / collapse.

But the US dollar will keep losing value (from all the printing).  You'll continue getting SS checks but the dollars in those checks will buy less and less.

The only "collapse" will be USD collapse.  There won't be anything coming out the other side.  USD will be worthless or nearly worthless, but US govt will continue on, SS benefits still paid out.   You just won't be able to buy anything with those dollars.


AgAu_man's picture

For obvious reasons I cannot be more specific, but the newest phenomenon in company layoffs is too raise the number of people in the bottom/Unacceptable category in job reviews.

If handled properly, the benefit to the company is that they avoid negative publicity of Layoffs. And less or no severance pay. Bonus for mgmt.

And, BTW, "No UI". No matter how much they paid or for how long. Double whammy!

Parrotile's picture

Pretty underhand and reprehensible isn't it.
Wonder which particular HR Genius thought that up - one thing you can be sure of is that he / she and their ilk always seem to come out with wonderful reviews.

Helps to know the "right people" more than ever these days, especially if you plan to continue working!

Vidar's picture

Trying to 'fix' SS is pointless. The faster the system collapses the better. The only way out of statism is for the currency and the Empire to collapse. Those collecting SSDI are doing us all a favor by accelerating the inevitable.

q99x2's picture

I'm not a low life. I suffer from the long term debilitating effects of lazyitis.

Tango in the Blight's picture

Many people are capable of working but their jobs moved to China and India. Maybe the gubmint should give unemployed ppl a one-way ticket to these countries if they can't find a job after 99 weeks.

NuYawkFrankie's picture

Nothing more than some steerage-class passengers stuffing their pockets with silverware...

after The Titantic has hit the iceberg - courtesy of the Captain, Officers & Crew


Peter Pan's picture

Articles such as this one miss one very important point. The point is that the masses still don't get it and won't get it until the system actually collpases and stops delivering food stamps, pensions, medical care and other benefits.

css1971's picture

The system won't collapse, it will be inflated to insignificance.

falak pema's picture

Compulsory reading for all ZH members : The toxic trail of Neo liberalism as expounded by Hayek 

Philip Pilkington: The Origins of Neoliberalism, Part III – Europe and the Centre-Left Fall under Hayek’s Spell « naked capitalism

A good summary of how the US conservative right and corporate lobbies have bought this line of thought since the  FDR regime installed "Keynesianism".

Very comprehensive historically/psychologically tainted overview.  And, obviously as economic theory is "pseudo religion" it creates a lot of knee jerks to interpret "fact" and what government intervention in a republican framework means in terms of wealth redistribution mechanisms and its basis, its biases and its limits.

For some, all state action; aka taxes, is illegal, immoral theft! ...Like gay marriages are betrayal of God's will!

The supreme irony of this line of reasoning is provided here : Wall Street thanks you for your service, Tim Geithner | Dean Baker | Comment is free | Corporate Poacher turns Gamekeeper of Central bank statism! 

When you read this article on Tiny Timmy you realise how in the face of real events a delusional corporatist psychopath following Hayek's reasoning during the halcyon days leading upto 2008 crash as head of NY FED, became an outright Keynesian when he became Secretary of Treasure to BAIL OUT his corporate friends; who had destroyed capitalism using COrporatist oligarchy logic unleashed since REaganomics-Thatcherist days, using the Chicago school Friedman version of watered down Hayekism.... We now have the smoking gun proof that this pseudo science is smoke n mirrors. Behind the Ivy League theorising is the REptilian BRAIN MINDSET, of the thirst for power, that Hayek's dreams  and anti statist delusions in favour of corporate power construct have allowed Oligarchical man to liberate and assume openly : his most basic instincts at the expense of the 99%.

Hayek and MArx, when  PUT into practice, lead to the same consequences.

Charybdis and Scylla of modern economic religious world! 

Good bye Mr Geithner, one flew out from the Cuckoo's nest! 

The beat goes on, as neo feudalism comes back to first world.


css1971's picture

"but on broad principles they follow a pattern that invokes laissez faire, balanced government budgets"

WTF? Well, that's an enormous pile of shit.

falak pema's picture

nit picking? Great !

now try cherry picking. 

Bob's picture

lol, felt a need for punishment, eh?  I read that series last week at nc and could not help but think of the neoliberal marketing juggernaut that is ZH and how much it would be appreciated here. 


evolutionx's picture

**Prepare for the Worst: Celente on 2013


Sudden Debt's picture

YES WE CAN print it or take it from the working class.

We're not at a 100% tax rate so there's time to maneuver.

css1971's picture

We already know how this ends.

It ends with people getting exactly what they were promised in nominal terms. They just won't be able to live on it.

The price of Your Daily Bread:

midtowng's picture

Thi article is a load of crap. A bunch of biased assumptions mixed together with hate.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

The preponderance of SSI can never be bankrupt by definition.  It is a pay as you go system.  Even if the US defaults on the trust fund, over 80% of it is pay as you go.  So benefits get cut a maximum of 20%, but everyone keeps paying in their 15%.

SSI isn't going anywhere.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

It's very easy to repeat the anti-SSI meme over and over on ZH.  The anti-SSI forces have been completely out argued on ZH, but they just keep coming.  Your argument will never seriously see the light of day in the real world.  Politicians like to keep their jobs.

So in summary, you have a total loser of an argument and no political vehicle to carry your loser argument.

jemlyn's picture

People keep pointing out that the number of workers per retiree is declining and that we should have more children to stop this trend and reverse it.  But why?  Young people today can't find jobs.  How would it help to have more of them?  The future of manufacturing and agriculture is more automation.  Low level service jobs will not produce the tax revenue to support the retirees.  This whole concept is based on growth forever on a finite planet. 

I think we will borrow and borrow until there is a monetary collapse.  Medicare will stop and people will die sooner.  Those who are able will have to find work to support themselves.  Along the way we may have means testing and wealth testing and a subsistence level stipend but what can't go on will stop.

hooligan2009's picture

there is plenty of "work" out there, like helping out at home or in a (elderly?) neighbors house or old folks home or finding a piece of land and growing something on it as a hobby or prospecting for minerals or trying to invent something or trading ebay or making furniture or rebuilding cars or...well the list is endless...what we have is a triumph of social networking and game skills over the real world

joego1's picture

Oh you mean after I retire on disabiliy?

hooligan2009's picture

seen too many people doing too many (good) things in the face of horrible adversity to bite on that one.

JamesBond's picture

go reagan!



falak pema's picture

he has! gone...007 now a fairy tale like Reaganomics. 

Ever heard the song of Roland? Another fairy tale. That's an olde one. 

Love fairy tales! 

The Rolls Royce belongs to the "Krauts" (BMW), in Bondish jargonese and Aston MArtin to ...Italian investors!

Hey, Mussolini and Sieg Heil own James and Bond street! 

Thats no fairy tale! 

joego1's picture

So many of these people became disabled because of drugs or alcohol. The stay that way and go on ssi. Nobody gives a shit. How many of them have health problems because the only thing they eat is fast food? This is our culture like it or not but payback is a MF and believe me that it is coming soon like a freight train on the wrong track.

hooligan2009's picture

yo bro..dotchoo be dissing my bruthas and sistas...we got crack, smack, charlie, X, reds, blues, blow as well...yu wanna hit? drugs are don't have to care..

ponders also how many wally worlders are so damn fat also

i am stunned that over 28 million are disabled..i guess this includes vets? or do they get paid via vet benefits?

joego1's picture

Gimme a dime of dragi, some obomblow and some krakner. Also a ball of blownanke.

joego1's picture

An flow buckets of nuggs hun.

tao400's picture

That is not true. I work in the private side of the disability program.

bunnyswanson's picture

Are you trying to say the alcoholics and drug addicts amongst us eat a balanced diet?  What would lead you to argue with a point everyone is the last thing on the list of a hardcore, nonfunctional addict. 

Just to mention a few Vitamin D deficiency, iodine, magnesium, calcium, protein..all have devastating impacts, the first two having an impact on the brain activity, one is useless without the other.  Dehydration in itself would impact their health in profound ways.  Anemia.  Energy levels, sense of well being and ability to focus are all impacted. 

Vit D deficiency is epidemic is iodine the general public who'd eat a diet that would be considered as balanced as one could expect in this hurried lifestyle where panic and hysteria are accompanied by glitter and gold.  A portion of even fat is necessary to provide the body the necessary ingredients to function well.  Study you'll have to google showed that seizure activity in children goes down when a diet includes fat.  Conduction.

helping_friendly_book's picture

In the days when I couldn't find work I just turned to, victimless, crime. I dealt weed, rented out rooms in my house to workers who couldn't afford their own apartments and I made out just fine.

I still think the author is a witless douche bag attacking what used to be the middle class because the NYFRB, Treasury and Congress (to a lesser degree) let the jooh banking elite loot the treasury.

Now the former middle class is supposed to pick ourselves up by our boot straps and go get a non-existent job?

Fuck Jim Quinn and his simple minded explanation of the fate, through no fault of the (former) working man, the working man who had/has no choose but, to give up 25% of their paycheck to be abused by Wall Street.

I say Jim Quinn's argument is moronic. Goldman Sachs gets 100 billion in bonuses, courtesy of the US Taxpayer, and he is trying to blame this country's ills on people collecting benefits, which are barely enough to survive?

Fuck him! We can hang his stupid carcass right next to Timmy, Hank Paulson and Jon Corzine.

How dare he suggest this fate is some kind of vacation for those forced on the roles of disability because of conspiratorial organized crime perpetrated by the Joohs at the FRBNY and Wall Street.

Fuck Israel while I am at it. Let's cut all aid to those "Stern" Polish gangsters to help pay for the needy unemployed in this country who have been dispossessed, just like the Palestinians, by the Joohs.