The 1935 Social Security Act established 65 as the age of eligibility for payouts. But welfare state politics quickly becomes a bidding war, enriching the menu of benefits, so in 1956 Congress entitled women to collect benefits at 62, extending the entitlement to men in 1961. Today, nearly half of Social Security recipients choose to begin getting benefits at 62. This is a grotesque perversion of a program that was never intended to subsidize retirees for a third to a half of their adult lives.
And here's Nobel prize-winning Gary Becker on America's fiscal crisis:
Future fiscal problems for the federal government will be particularly challenging not only because entitlements are growing rapidly, but also because the federal debt has been ballooning due to the extraordinary deficits during the past two years. Large deficits are likely also for the next couple of years. The combined cost of interest on government debt, social security benefits, and spending under Medicare and Medicaid will take at least 20% of projected GDP by 2030, even without any sizable increase in the interest rates that creditors demand to hold the much larger US government debt. This percent equals about 80% of current government spending relative to GDP.
Happy Monday, all!