Here at the Daily Economist we have written numerous times on the pension shortfalls proliferating municipalities, unions, and state run systems. But perhaps it is time we look at the most important retirement plan of all, which of course is that of social security.
In the newest 2016 report out by the Social Security Trustees, the fund that already services tens of millions of Americans with a monthly income, and is promised to do the same for hundreds of millions now working in the labor force, is $32 trillion in the red, and in the shorter term has a $6 trillion deficit.
It’s been several weeks since the Social Security Trustees released their 2016 Trustees Report. I’ve been waiting to see if either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton or anyone in the press core would say a peep about the astounding $6 trillion deficit implied by the Report’s table VI.F1.
Not a peep.
As you may know, I’m running for President as a write-in candidate along with my VP choice, UCLA economist, Edward Leamer. We’ll be on the ballot along with the two party candidates if voters simply write Laurence Kotlikoff for President and Edward Leamer for Vice President on the ballot in the space provided. It’s that simple.
Ed and I are deeply concerned about our country’s fiscal condition, which is grave to say the least. If we don’t address it, we can kiss our children’s economic futures goodbye.
I’ll get back to the overall picture, but let me tell the press what they will find if they care to do their job and look at Table VI.F1. They will learn that Social Security, according to the system’s own actuaries, is now $32 trillion in the red! The $32 trillion is the present value difference between all the system’s projected future benefit payments less the sum of a) all its projected future taxes and b) its current almost $3 trillion trust fund.
We economists call this measure Social Security’s infinite horizon fiscal gap. Last year, the Trustees reported a fiscal gap of $26 trillion. So the system’s fiscal gap grew by $6 trillion over the past year, i.e., Social Security ran a $6 trillion deficit! - Forbes
The 2008 financial crisis was a wake-up call, and had given Americans nearly a decade to find new alternative ways to save for their own retirements, and to not have to rely upon insolvent state and federal systems that are themselves bankrupt. And one of the only ways that this can be achieved, especially if the government soon decides to massively increase taxes to cover the growing deficits, is to get some money into physical gold, which will both protect your wealth, and allow you little or no counter-party risk from insolvent Wall Street or government retirement schemes.