Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Sid Salter: Understanding SS's Impact on Mississippi

 Understanding the impact of Social Security on Mississippi’s economy and on our people is a heavy lift.

Let’s start with the basics. Nationwide in 2019, 54.1 million people received Social Security old age benefits, 9.9 million received disability benefits, and 61.2 million were covered under the Medicare program, that according to the Social Security Administration Trustee’s Report.

This past year in Mississippi, some 416,500 retirees received Social Security benefits averaging $1,420.12 per month or $17,161.44 annually. That means Social Security pumps $7.147 billion annually into Mississippi’s economy – in this the state with the deepest poverty in the nation.

Some perspective comes from the fact that Mississippi’s Fiscal Year 2022 state budget is close to $21 billion, but the state-funded portion is closer to $6 billion. The rest is paid by the federal government.

The current Social Security Trustee’s Report still holds that Social Security will be able to meet current obligations until 2035, at which time either Congress will act to shore up the program or recipients will see a 21 percent reduction in benefits that will grow to a 27 percent reduction.

Medicare is projected to be able to pay scheduled benefits through 2026, when a 10 percent reduction is projected without congressional intervention.

More perspective necessary? Social Security and Medicare accounted for 41 percent of total federal expenditures in 2019. In 2000, 12.4 % of the U.S. population was aged 65 or over. In 2019, that percentage increased to 16.5%. By 2050, that percentage is projected to rise to 22%.

A rapidly growing senior population, plus improvements in health care that increase longevity, will dramatically impact the future financial stability of Social Security and Medicare.

The Washington-based Committee for Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) analyzed the 2020 Trustees’ Report and offered this dismal assessment: 1) Social Security will be insolvent in 2035, just 14 years into the future; 2) Trustees projected the Social Security program would run cash deficits of more than $2 trillion over the next decade, the equivalent of 2% of payroll or 0.7% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP); and (3) Social Security’s finances are deteriorating. Between 2010 and 2019, the program’s actuarial deficit grew by nearly 50% from 1.92% of payroll to 2.78%. Over the past year, it has grown by an additional 15% to 3.21% of payroll.

But what impact will the Covid-19 pandemic have on these programs? Potentially, a significant impact. According to financial journalist Mark Miller, Social Security’s chief actuary Stephen Goss told a recent Bipartisan Policy Center webinar that “a reduction in employment earnings and payroll taxes of 15% for an entire year would change the insolvency date from early 2035 to the middle of 2034. If a decline on that order continues for a second year, the depletion date would move up to middle or late 2033.”

So, pandemic impact or not, what’s the overarching problem? Why are the entitlement programs in fiscal danger?

In 1950, 120 workers were paying into the Social Security system for every individual drawing a pension from it. By the year 2035, it is projected that there will be 2.3 workers contributing to every worker drawing a pension. By 2035, the number of Americans 65 and older will increase from approximately 56 million today to over 78 million as the Baby Boomers reach that milestone.

The current “woke” generation has embraced the issue of income inequality as a focus of their calls for systemic change. But how can any of us ignore the obvious threats to the Depression-era economic safety nets we call Social Security and Medicare? Those carping about extending unemployment benefits or stimulus payments either don’t understand those programs and haven’t considered the implications if those programs are not stabilized.

And accomplishing that will almost certainly involve higher payroll taxes, a concept that has left many of the “woke” asleep at the switch.

 Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist.  Contact him at 


Anonymous said...

Nobody is asleep tax the top 2% fairly and collect that tax and most of your problems are solved.

Anonymous said...

... tax the top 2% fairly ...

Define 'fairly'. Give us income levels and rates.

Otherwise, you're full of shit.

Anonymous said...

I think a better route would be taxing 50% on all “passive” incomes. That being those that do not contribute any labor or productivity to the economy. Stuff like being a landlord for property you inherited. Also, interest from loans (usury) and stock dividends (gambling) for another example. Landlords are literal parasites and there is a reason communist revolutionaries punish them first.

Anonymous said...

@8:25am - Sorry, Citizens United allows the rich/corps to avoid tax liability by bribing their politicians with unlimited campaign funds via PACs to keep them in their cushy government jobs. In turn, these career politicians pass laws that allow the rich/ruling class loopholes to not pay their fair share of taxes... the Trump tax cuts being the most recent “payback” to rich/Corp donors. But the politicians will tell you that SS is a failing program and will soon become insolvent because of other reasons (pick any, besides the actual reason).

Overturn Citizens United, impose term limits on reps/senators.

Anonymous said...

8:25 has the insight of a 5 year old. What makes taxing anyone more the fair resolution to out of control government spending? It won’t solve our problems because eventually Washington will increase spending due to the increase in tax revenues and we will be right back in the same hole tomorrow. And 8:25 will again want others to pay more. How about remove a large portion of the government subsidies and social programs that cause a large amount of our country to sit around all day (and complain).

Anonymous said...

@8:25 AM - "Only the 'little people' pay taxes." (Leona Helmsley)
"Let them eat cake." (Nancy Piglosi)

Anonymous said...

9:28 Spot on - Thank You

Anonymous said...

The real shit hit the fan scenario is when they start taxing wealth. Oh yeah, it's coming.

One crying in the wilderness said...

The amount of ignorance on this board is staggering. One idiot thinks the answer is term limits. Then he comes back with another post, telling himself that he was "spot on". You can change all the thieving politicians every year and nothing will improve. The problem is the ones controlling the money supply.

Mayer Amschel Rothschild said, "permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws". That is our situation, the United States of America, and not only ours, but nearly every nation in the world has this same cancer. The central banks have robbed the citizens of this great country of its natural resources, and the labor of its people. They will continue this thievery until nothing is left, unless the people do something to stop to it.

Anonymous said...

9:28 AM

Anyone who believes this is anti-constitutional.

Anonymous said...

To 10:58

YOUR ignorance is showing - Calling someone an idiot does not advance the discussion - and your accusation that 9:28 "comes back" is incorrect - Sorry Dude - you just lost credibility

I happen to agree with 9:28 - Sooooo I posted a "thank you"
You're free to call me an idiot also.
Signed 10:28

One crying in the wilderness said...

When you throw a rock in to a pack of dogs, the one that yelped is the one that was hit. Ain't that right, 11:26?

An anonymous poster made a post. That anonymous poster was accused of creating another anonymous post, congratulating themselves on their first post. The second anonymous poster created another anonymous post, refuting they had made the first anonymous post. Now that everyone has been identified, we can move forward. Let the record show that the posts in question were each made by anonymous.

Anonymous said...

@11:18am - Please explain how using the mechanisms made available in the actual constitution to institute term limits on Congress is “anti-constitutional.” That’s literally the definition of constitutional... following the constitution to do something. Do you believe that the 22nd Amendment is anti-constitutional? Or any “amendment” for that matter? I’m pretty sure you just made a point that you believe your guns should be taken.

Good lord. I reckon 10:59am was right about one thing: “ The amount of ignorance on this board is staggering.” Though I don’t believe he thought he was referring to you and himself when he said it.

That'sMisterDeplorableToYou said...

America is definitely in decline and we're one day going to resemble something much like Brazil, where there just aren't any government safety nets of any meaningful consequence because there just isn't any money to pay for them. How quickly we reach "Brazilification" will depend on how long the dollar can maintain its status as the world's reserve currency.

When the day comes that the EBT card stops working, I'd much rather be in Mississippi than in New York or St. Louis.

Anonymous said...

Having a discussion on "fair" taxation in an emerging socialist society with anonymous posters is like discussing premarital sex with 14 year old boys.
I wonder which posters learned the regressive impact of progressive tax rates?

Krusatyr said...

For now, inflation is the flesh eating tax to beat by hiring fewer socialist politicians promoting dependency and equal squalor for all.

Anonymous said...

9.25 AM said, "Landlords are literal parasites and there is a reason communist revolutionaries punish them first."

That worked out well, didn't it, 9.25? I guess all of the unsuccessful communist countries failed in the late 20th century, and North Korea and Cuba are the shining examples of communist success?

Anonymous said...

I have never successfully been able to get a comment naming the “Redshield” empire past Kingfish. Kudos and much respect.
Perhaps he finally got around to reading “A History of Central Banking and the Enslavement of Humanity” and is sympathetic to our pleas of sanity to our fellow humans!

Now if only he would approve a comment about the Sassoon global narcotics empire….

Anonymous said...

Yes but you have to understand that the USSR couldn’t simply print fiat money endlessly like the USA. The Soviets IBS debt payments were demanded in Gold. The USA has no gold to give. Fort Knox was likely looted in the 20th century.(It hasn’t been audited in 50 years) Instead the world accepts Federal Reserve notes (petrodollars) and a promise to pay our debts with a positive interest rate set by the Federal Reserve.

Anonymous said...

@2:22pm - What about China’s communist success?

Anonymous said...

Let’s talk about Chinese success. Also Viet Nam success. You are so ignorant.

And the USA would be in the exact same boat as the USSR if we were forced to pay our international debts in gold just as they were.
The USA has OPEC to keep the USD$ as the de facto reserve currency petrodollar. That’s why we kiss the Saudi King’s ass.

Anonymous said...

You mean that program us folks around 50 will never see ? That one ? The one we pay into that "The Swamp" doesn't ? The badly run socialist program that will give my hard earned money to anyone who applies ? Even if they never paid in ? That one ?

Better Than Ever said...

@9:25 Good luck raising money to open a new business. Good luck with existing ones also... the immediate drop in stock prices will wipe them all out.

You speak as a child who knows nothing yet fancies themself as a genius.

Anonymous said...

You sound like a Geezer who never heard of Kickstarter of GoFundMe.

Anonymous said...

the immediate drop in stock prices will wipe them all out.

And there is a big part of the problem in the USA economy. Too many American companies “stock” is their most profitable product.


Anonymous said...

Leona Helmsley was right

One crying in the wilderness said...

People need to heed the words of the rich and powerful, when they speak of taking private ownership rights. What this country, and every other country that is controlled by central bankers, don't understand, is the time is near for the bill to come due. What will happen when we can no longer service the interest on our massive debt?

It is being called the great reset. The international bankers will announce the elimination of all debt, public, and private. With the elimination of debt, the elimination of all private ownership will follow. Is this true? I encourage you to investigate for yourself.

The fact-checkers say that this is not the goal of the World Economic Forum. They contend that the WEF, as it is known, simply wants all people to have access to all goods. It sounds great, right?

The WEF released a Facebook video in 2016. This video started out with these words,"You'll own nothing, and you'll be happy. This is how our world could change by 2030". What type of government does that sound like?

When people tell you what their intentions are, you should believe them. If everyone owns everything, no one owns anything.

Anonymous said...

I'm 60 years old and the Social Security System has been going broke for 40 years according to both parties at different times depending on who needed to scare the recipients more. They have to keep the masses happy but also want them to know who has CONTROL

Anonymous said...

You are talking about Klaus Schwab. The guy that dresses up like a Sith Lord. Yeah, his mom was named Marianne Rothschild.

Better Than Ever said...

@4:16 And again, someone who speaks as a child but fancies themselves learned.

Try kickstarting a multi-billion dollar enterprise. And then, when it makes 100x the startup funding, simply walking away from those profits because the kickstarter campaign only promised you a bumper sticker and coffee mug.

This isn't chipping in to screenprint the latest t-shirt design.

Better Than Ever said...

@4:35 I agree that TSLA could use a haircut and is likely to get one soon as 1) competition from other makers seriously entering the market and 2) the market for carbon offset credit drying up due to this. Won't take much before investors head for the exits.

Anonymous said...

The top 1% of income pay 39% of all income tax. The top 10% pay 70.6% of all income tax. 50% of people pay no tax. Is that “fair “?

Anonymous said...

Sid says Medicare will go in the red in 2026.

Why not increase the 1.45% tax to 1.75% asap, and to 2% in 2030.

And raise the annual deductible to only $250 per year.

And make the TriCare system recipients pay into their system.

I've seen a study that says the above are all that is necessary.

Anonymous said...

Funny how the poster "Better-Than-Never" wants to repeatedly call out others as child-like when he/she hides behind such a dumb childish moniker.


Anonymous said...

10:32 conveniently omitted FICA tax from his argument just like Faux Nooz.

Anonymous said...

Sid: I spot a bit of redundancy in your figures. Most people who are on medicare are also drawing SS, so there's overlap in your numbers.

9:22, one who suggests UNcapping the SS contribution limit on earnings is NOT full of shit. If every dime earned in income were FICA taxed, whatever problem is perceived would vanish. Why not tax the total wages of top income earners, those who can most afford it?

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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