Stossel: Free-Market Social Security


Social Security is running out of money. But don’t worry our presidents always say they will: strengthen and save Social Security. Safeguard Social Security. I’ll save Social Security. Except, unfortunately none will really save it. Here’s the problem. Years ago government made us a promise. Social Security is a program you can count on now and in the future. Even if you don’t save for your retirement, government will save for you. We are with you through life’s journey. Social Security: securing today and tomorrow. But the program doesn’t secure tomorrow. The politicians misled us. They didn’t save your Social Security payments. They spent every penny the moment they came in. But most people don’t know that. What happens to that money? Well hopefully it’s held in trust. Actually they spent it. So what’s there gonna be for me? When politicians began old-age programs, they assumed there’d be enough young workers to tax to cover the costs of sending checks to old people, people like me. But people like me are living longer these days so there aren’t enough young people to pay for us. As a result, Social Security’s going broke. This year it went into the red for the first time. Well there is a plan out there to save it, but it requires some tough choices. The Heritage Foundation proposes cutting payments to rich people and raising the retirement age to 70. There are some common-sense tweaks that we can make. Common sense to you, you’re young. Well you know what happened is that when Social Security actually was founded, life expectancy was below 65. The purpose of the program was to protect those few lucky ones that outlived everybody else. So today the vast majority live past 65. Social Security now has a $32 trillion dollar shortfall. You expecting to collect Social Security from the government? No, I doubt it. I suppose it’s progress that this was the first time talking to people on the street when most people understood the problem. It’s just a question of how much money we’re gonna print or borrow. I mean we’re already at a trillion dollars a year. Social Security is kind of like the Titanic, a ship heading for an iceberg. This is a massive ship that moves very slowly. If we start making reforms now, we can avoid the iceberg. If we wait until we can see the iceberg right in front of our noses. and then we try to turn the ship, we’re gonna run right into it. Medicare will hit its iceberg in just eight years. Then benefits will automatically be cut. Social Security will hit it in 15 years. What’s to be done? The Democrats say spend even more. You don’t cut Social Security, you expand it. Nearly every Democrat in the United States Senate has voted in favor of expanding Social Security. Human wants and needs are unlimited, there’s always another need, another program that needs more funding. And pay for it by taxing rich people. That’s part of my commitment to raise taxes on the wealthy. Just tax the rich. There isn’t enough money even that the rich would have to pay for the two hundred trillion in unfunded liabilities that we already have on the books. So were young people worried? Do you ever think about Social Security? I actually don’t. I’m still, I still feel like I’m too young to know about it. When you’re old how are you going to support yourself? I have no idea. It’s a failed system really because it’s almost like a big Ponzi scheme. One partial solution proposed by Heritage and others is to let workers put some of their Social Security money into personal retirement accounts. Just imagine being able to own and control your own retirement dollars. They could invest it in businesses that could grow the economy, whatever rocks your boat. Private accounts would almost certainly pay you more than Social Security. Even a conservative portfolio of stocks and bonds that got you about a 5% annual return, you would make many times more. Private accounts have been tried in a few countries. The investment they created helped Chile rise from one of the poorest countries in Latin America to the richest. And yet, private accounts are still a hard sell. Even in Chile, leftists object to capitalists getting a cut of the pie. The demonstrators are calling for an end to the management of pensions by private financial institutions. We lack gratitude for what the free market provides. That is difficult to wrap your head around. It’s easy to think, oh here is the government this is where I go. Private accounts are also unpopular in America. We will never let the Republicans cut or privatize Social Security. We won’t allow cuts to Social Security or Medicare! What you guys are pushing is the right thing to do, but it’s not popular. It is not popular but I think people don’t fully understand how these programs work. What happens to that money? It goes into a pool I guess? Do you know they actually don’t keep it in the trust fund, they spend it right away? Didn’t know that. When I get my paycheck, a lot of it goes to taxes and I see the Social Security part of it and it’s like thirty dollars of my whole paycheck. You would rather keep that 30 bucks and put it into your own savings account? Yeah I would. The country’s in a deficit. There’s a point where you can’t pay out and go in the negative forever. She’s right. Far better to fix old age programs now rather than have them suddenly go bankrupt later.

100 Replies to “Stossel: Free-Market Social Security

  1. You can beat social security by 300% with a sloppy annuity. Just proves the government has found a way to fuck up something that the private sector can do perfectly fine.

  2. I'll volunteer to not take social security money. Just stop taking it from me now, I won't even charge for all of my money that you've already wasted.

  3. Wow… what a load of lies. Every statement in this video is at best misleading and at worst, flat out false. Yes SS is flawed, but at least make your argument with some actual facts.

  4. I checked my paystub…  I'm paying more than $600/month to social security!  I would rather put that money into a 401K.

  5. Human wants are unlimited. human needs are, in reality, very few. People need water food shelter and bathroom, maybe even communication for emergency, work or family purposes..

  6. In AUSTRALIA about
    40% of the population is on WELFARE PAYMENTS .
    And another 40% are public servants fake jobs .
    MIDDLE CLASS WELFARE.
    And about 20% of the population pays all all the Taxs
    It's the 80/20 rule
    80% WELFARE
    20% working tax payer
    .that's why I'm getting out
    Heading to a country that has no
    WELFARE or fake job's like
    Public servants .
    Thailand or Cambodia or Philippines or Vietnam.
    Or south America

  7. Give them reliably good education, and opportunity. And let them handle the rest. Government keeping your money for you does not sound like a good deal.

  8. One problem, though: private investment firm fraud & abuse. Private accounts are no panacea, look at 2008 and other malfeasance-fueled downturns.

    If this is to work, it would have to mandated and regulated in order to be a true retirement program, otherwise you’d have hundreds of thousands of retirees who could be bilked out of everything and living on the streets, or simply making asinine investment decisions and ending up destitute.

    Modern SS is a safety net: by itself, it only provides an uncomfortable living, but at least it’s a living. The smart move is to invest wisely and get both your returns and the SS cushion. Putting everything into pure free-market investments ups the risk that you’d lose it all, or not save enough to protect yourself. The safety net aspect is gone, UNLESS there are mandatory investment minimums and a regulated marketplace to reduce the risk and keep a minimum cushion.

    Bottom line: free-market investment is a risky game, a tightrope act. Eliminating SS removes the net. Do we put in a different net, or do we risk people plummeting to their death?

  9. So much bullshit in 6 minutes.

    It only runs out of money if no new workers are born to pay into it.

    Maybe if we didn’t spend hundreds of billions a year on the military.

    Yeah people live longer but lots of people are not healthy enough to work far before they reach the end of their life.

    If we lifted the cap on income above $250,000 a year so a person who makes millions of dollars a year pays more into it it would become rock solid. Right now a person who makes $250,000 and $30 million a year pays no more taxes into SSI but of course reason leaves that out.

    Yeah and put the SSI into the stock market while listening to some stooge from the heritage foundation blather on.

    If libertarians want to fix their image problem they could actually stop pushing nothing but ancap propaganda 99% of the time

  10. I had a stroke 8 years ago.
    now I am 71
    I have no idea how to pay for a Health Care Facility
    Social Security allows me to stay alive

  11. America is wonderful for upper middle class families
    For others you can buy a house and you entire family
    can live together in the house and maybe be able to pay
    the mortgage if everyone works and chips in.

  12. No, not some money in personal retirement accounts, put all of it into personal retirement accounts where the politicians can't get their dirty hands on it.

  13. End all the wars, make rich and corporations pay their fair share then take all the money Congress embezzled from social security and put it back into a separate account from treasury then we will have enough to keep it going

  14. I'm from Chile, our private AFPs don't actually give people enough money after retirement because they suffer the same fundamental problems as public social security: the retired/working people ratio increments every year. The best solution is to personally save your money and let compound interest do a better job than people and for much less money.

  15. The Government stole from it years ago and never replaced it . And stop giving our taxes to the rich .they don't pay then or very little .some cases don't pay but get refund's .

  16. hey stossel you got yours their millions and millions suffering but what do you care people go to the hospital with something serious go home to recover then find out they were fired from their job then get a 300,000$ bill now the whole family is under stress but you don't because you got yours fuck you

  17. isn't it funny we spend twice as much money as all the other countries and we are at best ranked 10 in the world . infant
    death at birth we rank 36th 9 other countries live longer than Americans and you give us this bullshit. stop protecting insurance and big pharma your a bunch of shit heads

  18. 2 fewer F-18s would pay for most of it…I would love to manage my own Social Security, those people bleed us dry, I've given them thousands and thousands and thousands….

  19. Don't worry Trump will spend so much money (endless deficits) and cut already low taxes we'll just end social security. And all the poor fat Trump voters will get what they deserve (cat food cans).

  20. I don't think people truly understand that their paychecks would be about 15% more without social security and Medicare. You are only taxed half of what the govt gets and your employer is responsible for the other half. If I had 15% to put in a personal retirement account I could very well pay for 30 years of retirement including completely out of pocket healthcare costs and that could be done on a salary of only 40k per year.

  21. Save your own money. Most people if they invested there social security payments into personal 401k mutual funds would have millions at retirement and more then enough for themselves. Although this requires you to take care of your own future and financial wellbeing. If you end up not saving it's your fault.

  22. Every time I see a Stossel video, I'm just blown away by the break-neck pace at which information is presented, and then NOT supported thoroughly with either argument or empirical data. It is seriously impressive how much misleading B.S. Stossel can cram into a 6 minute video…

  23. For all of the "ponzi scheme" idiots: In a ponzi scheme, one expects a profit on investment.
    Social Security is insurance for when one can no longer work due to age or disability.

  24. The very first sentence is complete bullshit.
    Social Security isn't "running out of money", it's being raided with no intention of paying it back.
    Even if we do nothing It's funded for the next decade and a half and funded at 70% after that.

  25. The Chile comparison is a red herring. Good luck convincing citizens to invest an additional 4% of their wages, into companies of the richest people in history, while they continue to make incredibly low wages (More than 50% of wage earners make only $30K/year). Sounds like the college scam for businesses.

  26. It's ridiculous that the government is in the personal savings business and akimg it a ponzi scheme and ruthlessly spending the money on anything else. This activity by any other is felonious and would be rightfully punished for the THEFT that it is. Plus they inflate the dollar so even if they paid you back, it would be worth less.

  27. to get rid of social security what are you going to do with all of the disabed people of the country. you knoow those people who for whatever reason can't work. peopl who were paralyse or are severly autisitc. are you goin to just ill those people because they can't work or put them out on the streets. first off you peple assume everybody is able to work. thats unfortunatly not the case. now some of you are going o start screaming while it worked aa hundred years ago. yess it might have but that world has changed. also whats gona happen if you privatise and the next reat depresion happens because of greeady stupid bussnises and suddeny your left with nothing to fal back on because hey everything you invested in when belly up and noby will hire you because your to old to to anything your qualified to do. or more accuratly because 90% of the jobs are being done by robots because we will hit a point were robots will be cheaer than huans. the auto industry already has.

  28. Social Security is not a pension. Social Security is a tax and a welfare benefit.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helvering_v._Davis

    Social Security does not have a "massive unfunded liability." That would suggest that social security benefits are somehow guaranteed. They are not. The benefit can be changed or eliminated by the will of congress.

    As far as private accounts go, you have all the rights and prerogatives that you need to open and fund your own private account. You don't need the government to do that for you.

  29. Doubt that girl who wants to keep her 30 bucks will read this, but actually what they take out from her paycheck for social security is twice what it shows. Your employer pays half your social security tax. If SS was gone, you’d get both your contribution and your employers contribution.

  30. Oh sure. Put your social security in investments and have the brokers steal it via fees and etc etc etc etc. We're supposed forget about 2008.

  31. Did a quick google search and it’s exactly as I thought, there is a trust fund with trillions of dollars in it. I couldn’t find the exact number but it was 2.6 trillion in 2011 and hasn’t been taken from since the inception of social security (and now) with an annual growth of about 100bil/year. When Stossel says it is in the red it means it’s the first time since we took from the fund and government has certainly not spent it all. We are taking from it now because of things like the baby boomers and other variables and we obviously planned for times like this. This whole video is just misinformation and lies.

  32. That way the govt.won't steal your money and replaced it with a ponzy scheme. Every cent should have been invested carefully we were took by our govt. And our own desires for social programs. The dear old public does not think of the future…neither does their govt. Everybodys living on debt including Uncle (Spendthrift) Sam!

  33. Hey stozzel .how about the government pay back the 2.7 trillion dollars they have taken out of the cash fund the citizens paid into.

  34. Social Security is not in trouble it has 2.7 trillion dollars a surplus you can thank Ronald Reagan for doubling the taxes on our parents so it would not collapse this is total b***** the government doesn't want you to think that the the government can't do nothing right they want to privatize it so they can get the 2.7 trillion wake up America

  35. This is easy to resolve. We just need $20/mth until the day we die at a 12% market which happens long term. If your 18 and do that until age 100 every month. The investment will grow to 23 million dollars. Enough to pay for social security and medicare at 100% without cutting benefits.

  36. It's fucking ridiculous how dead set people are in keeping SS. No matter how you slice it it's a failure. Sure, you could change the laws to help save it, but at the end of the day all the trouble it takes to save and make SS a success does not even come close to outweighing any benefits it provides over people being solely responsible for their own retirement money. It needs to be abandoned like slavery.

  37. I've been on Social Security since 2004 SSI and you can't live off of it is really really hard to truly live off of what the government gives you to the point where you have to get a job just to survive and with everything going up it makes things just so much more difficult and I'm thinking I need to get back into school and get a better job before Social Security disappears completely.

  38. I'm willing to bet John Stossel couldn't give an objective news report to save his own children's life, he's just lacking in the ability to see objectively only half of what he says in this report is true

  39. He's absolutely right American should let the Wolves of Wall Street manage their personal finances I mean what could go wrong

  40. I am from Chile, those who are against our pension system are a small minority … ignorant people and indoctrinated by the far left.

  41. Question: What happens to the money that has been "saved" for America's wars and defense budget? I'm assuming that if SS can only be paid for with money that has been "saved," that must be the case for ALL perennial expenditures. If all the money that was "saved" for Social Security is "gone," can't we just 'shift' some of the money that was "saved for war" to fund shortfalls in SS?

    Of course, I'm joking: NO money has been saved for America's defense/war budget: it is simply funded, automatically, even if it boosts the national debt into perpetuity. No one has ever said that huge defense budgets will 'bankrupt' the country. So the REAL question is why is defense spending NEVER questioned, while SS funding is constantly questioned?

    This vid is just more propaganda, a perfect example of the "Big Lie": lies that are 'hardened' through sheer repetition.

    BTW, there is a very simple fix for "saving" SS: raise the limit on taxable income that goes to its funding. As income inequality grows, it is an eminently fair and simple solution.

  42. Republicans have never actually decreased government spending or it's size so why should I expect them to save Social Security.

  43. Another view on this subject suggests that an expansion of the program has allowed more and less needy groups to opt into social security. The idea of paying into a public trust to protect against poverty in old age gave into allowing individuals to plan less and to get some or all of their investment back. But the program isn't for that. It's you protecting the workers of yesterday from disaster. Same with medicaid. We could expand these programs I suppose to support everyone but then we would need to tax more. Honestly I'm more in favor of limiting social security availability and expanding medicaid but that requires a few changes and regulation that I suppose your viewers and you don't enjoy. Health services are overly inflated in price for one thing and other corporate influences keep it that way. Our social and consumer structure don't encourage people to save, for one because the world is filled with unlimited tempting luxuries and the value of our money is constantly deflating. Investing would be great wouldn't it if there was any chance of that investment being protected from loss. We really can't abide without a social financial safety net even if everyone does behave responsibly with their money as a market crash or a rash of disasters could wipe a group of their life's work.

  44. I want the money I put in, with interest, otherwise it is just another tax. If it becomes insolvent and cancelled I should not have to pay taxes for the rest of my life or all politicans should go straight to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

  45. Social Security advertisement: "We are with you on life's journey。“ Me:Okay what if dont want you here?" SSA: Still Here!"

  46. No Stossel. Stop your lies. Social Security is fully funded until 2034. The Social Security 2100 Act will make it solvent until 2100. No cuts. Expansion.
    The wealthy do not pay their Social Security tax after $132,000! Lift the cap! Stop your lies Stossel.

  47. Imagine what would have happened in 2008 when the stock market crashed. Senior citizens would have their life savings wiped out. Fuck Wall St and free market capitalism!

  48. I will say it again: if Americans would pull their heads out of their asses and inform themselves about Social Security and Medicare they would hang these corrupt politicians from the nearest tree. Nothing is more infuriating to me than a bunch of clueless assholes screaming for tax increases on the rich when those tax increases will do absolutely NOTHING to address the real problem with SS and Medicare.

  49. Don't forget about the hidden social security payroll tax your employer pays for you too. When you look at the 7.5% SS and Medicare withholding from your paycheck, double that amount, because you're employer pays the same amount to SS. That's why self employed people have to pay the full 15% social security payroll tax. The 7.5% an employer pays is part of your wages that you never see on a check. It's a cute trick.

  50. This is so simple to fix. It's not a ripoff.
    Again the government F'd it up. The social security money was to be used for one thing and one thing only: retirement -PERIOD.
    In it's infinite wisdom the government decided to use the money for all kinds of other social programs. In other words-spend it.
    If we use the social security funds for what they were soley intended for it would be solid and solvent.
    But why would the government want to do that? It has a reputation to uphold – "F" everything it touches up.

  51. Don't worry, interest rates are being kept artificially low by the Fed, so why worry about the national debt – fueled by Social Security – as long as there's cheap credit?

  52. Hmmmm … It seems to me the "free market" didn't work very well in 2008. Never trust the thieves on Wall Street with your money unless you have a lot of spare cash to lose.

  53. I Like the MSA's that I put into. I feel that my Medicare money should beable to go into it. Allow us to save our own money into our future medical needs. We will be rewarded for taking care of ourselves and punished for not. Most of the medical expenses are due to our own lazy selfish reasons.

  54. I completely agree that SS should be privatized, but I find it hard to believe that funding for it will simply run out without congress raising the debt ceiling again.

  55. And then you have people defrauding the social security disability program. It's another 3rd rail topic that no politician will touch.

  56. John Stossel has ten Millions dollars is worried about his 600 dollar a month check? He is the one who should be paying and not receiving.

  57. FACT: Federal government checks don't bounce and never will. The government needs neither taxes nor borrowing to fund operations. SS will never become insolvent because the federal government can never become insolvent. This whole argument is absurd and is perpetuated by people who haven't a clue on how our monetary system works. A government that issues a sovereign currency that doesn't peg its foreign exchange can never go broke. That's not speculation. It is a basic fact of accounting. Social security isn't in any fiscal danger and never will be.

  58. Can't the government just print money…yeah, if you want every dollar you have to be devalued to be worth .50 cents. Sounds like a plan

  59. It's very easy to knock a government welfare programs but the fact remains most people DON'T earn enough surplus income to be able to put aside a meaningful private pension.
    What Stossel does not tell them is how can they survive in old age.

    It's OK for clowns like Stossel telling people on no income or minimum pay they most say for old age, it can't be done .
    If the self-righteous idiots head was not so much up his own derrière he might for once manage to make a video that can actual solve the major problems he spends his life prattling on about.

  60. If you default on social security and cut the entire program won’t be a massive deal I believe. Many people depend on that but you can privatize those and cut taxes for workers so that they can save for retirement.

  61. I can fix Social Security …. only allow those for which the system was designed … post-employment, retired, United States citizens who have made social security contributions fot 30, 40, years … all of their lives to collect Social Security benefits. It was not designed for nor will it support all of the different classes of beneficiaries that we have now draining that bank. I'm not implying that they don't deserve assistance. What I am stating is it's evident that the Social Security system can't support their extra burden. The government needs to find a different Revenue stream for thesr other classes.

  62. Congressional pension is fully funded and with full medical coupled with a insider trading side hustle my representative is fully covered…and so is yours…rejoice…. we have fulfilled are mission in life….

  63. This video is an embarrassment. (1) Social Security at inception was specifically designed not to depend 'future workers' – FDR specifically rejected that model. Yes the government spent the money – on old people. The Trust Fund today is almost entirely interest payments and general fund subsidies. That is money that the government has put in. Yes John we are living longer about 50% longer in retirement. At the same time payroll tax rates have risen 500% in real terms since 1950. Life expectancy at birth ie 'less than 65' is completely useless in a discussion of a pension. It is life expectancy at retirement age.

    Comparing the system in 1935 to today is stupid. If you want to raise retirement age to 70 to stay in line with life expectancy from the 1930s, give me 2% payroll taxes again against the first $30,000.

    This video is non-stop non-facts, not-thinking drivel.

  64. 0:29 That social security ad is honestly so creepy: "The government, we're here to take care of you like some benevolent God or eternal parental figure".

  65. So the politicians continue to rape the trust fund and refuse to pay us back.
    – $9.8 billion to support illegals in America.
    – $5.6 million to Mexico in humanitarian aid.
    – $100 billion in world humanitarian aid.
    Now, Pres. Trump has implemented tariffs on imports.
    So, stop aid and return our monies.

  66. I could double my contributions to my 401K if I did not have to contribute to social security. Plus only being 24 I most likely wont even see the benefits of it.

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