The Social Security payments that current retirees get are from the payroll taxes that those currently working pay. What is driving the system into bankruptcy is the shrinking number of those working per retiree. In 1950 the average was 16.5 workers per retiree. Now it is 2.9. The Trustees report projects this to be down to 2.0 by 2035.
One major factor is we’re having fewer children. Fertility rates - the average number of births per woman - have fallen dramatically. The average U.S. fertility rate, per the UN, in the period 2005-2010 was 40 percent lower than during 1950-1955.
John Mueller of the Ethics and Public Policy Center argues convincingly of the major impact of legal abortion to this dramatic drop in the ratio of those working to retirees.
To solve our national crisis we need to sort out symptoms from causes. The bankruptcy of our entitlement programs is the symptom.
The cause is loss of individual freedom and breakdown of values, personal responsibility and marriage caused by entitlement culture materialism.
Paul Ryan is right to see this in moral terms. We must change, and all change begins with character and personal transformation.