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Unformatted text preview: Write your thesis statement week 4 02/25/2011 Social Security has been a topic of widespread discussion in the last decade. Rising longevity and falling abundance have led to an aging population, which increases stability challenges for the Social Security system. Public concerns over low national saving have led to an extensive dialog on the merits of reform that might change the U.S. system into one with fully or partially funded personal accounts. The average retiree has dreams of traveling, shopping and living similar to the way they lived while working, but the truth of the matter is 80 percent of people who retire will not be able to. Most people have not made enough in their lifetime to qualify for a decent social security payment amount so many find themselves living way under respectable living standards, depending on family and friends or sadly, to say some have even found themselves homeless. Currently there are 3.7 workers supporting each recipient of benefits from the Social Security Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) program. By 2030, when the last of the baby-boom generation reaches retirement age, this ratio is expected to fall to 2.2 workers per beneficiary. In particular, many members of the baby-boom generation are concerned about the level of Social Security benefits they will receive when they retire. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has examined this issue. Using an actuarial approach, the SSA concludes that the system, as it is currently structured, is in actuarial balance and that baby boomers can expect to receive retirement benefits that are generous by today's standards. The President has begun his assault--personally and through a cadre of emissaries from Vice President Dick Cheney to Treasury Secretary John Snow--labeling Social Security a "crisis" that must be fixed. "First step," Bush told TIME last month, "is to make sure everybody understands we have a problem." The President last week surrounded himself with citizens ranging from children to an 80-year-old and warned that the Social Security system will be "flat bust, bankrupt" by the time workers in their 20s retire. As early as 2018, Bush said, "you're either going to have to raise the taxes of people or reduce the benefits." At another appearance intended to promote federal standards for testing high school students, Bush went off script to warn a group of teenagers, "The system will be bankrupt by the year 2040." That sounds pretty scary--except that it's not true. What will actually happen in 2018, according to the Social Security trustees who oversee the program, is that the money paid out in benefits will begin to exceed the amount collected in taxes. And since Social Security will run a surplus until then (and has been running one for some time), it has billions available that it can tap to fill the gap. Even under conservative estimates, the system as it stands will have enough money to pay all its promised benefits until 2042 and most of its obligations for decades after. American Economic Review; May88, Vol. 78 Issue 2, p76, 5p Social Security Bulletin, 2009, Vol. 69 Issue 4, p51-64, 14p Time, 1/24/2005, Vol. 165 Issue 4, p22-29, 8p, 5 Color Photographs Melynda Knowles email@example.com EST ...
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- Spring '11