Saving Social Security

October 2, 1998 • Volume 8, Issue 37
Will the system go broke?
By Adriel Bettelheim

Introduction

Retired law clerk Ida Mae Fuller of Ludlow, Vt., received the first monthly Social Security check in 1940. (Photo Credit: Social Security Administration)
Retired law clerk Ida Mae Fuller of Ludlow, Vt., received the first monthly Social Security check in 1940. (Photo Credit: Social Security Administration)

America's 76 million baby boomers pose a catastrophic threat to the nation's social safety net. Simply put, the Social Security system won't take in enough money to pay all of the boomers' guaranteed benefits as they retire over the next 30 years. To meet these obligations, the government will either have to raise workers' payroll taxes, cut benefits or take more drastic steps, such as raising the retirement age. A growing number of policy-makers are embracing calls to “privatize” the system and shift some payroll taxes to private retirement accounts. But a consensus is proving elusive, particularly as President Clinton struggles with his legal problems and financial markets fluctuate due to problems in Russia and Asia.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Social Security
Jun. 03, 2016  Social Security
Sep. 24, 2004  Social Security Reform
Oct. 02, 1998  Saving Social Security
May 12, 1995  Overhauling Social Security
Apr. 05, 1991  Social Security: The Search for Fairness
Dec. 17, 1982  Social Security Options
Jun. 29, 1979  Social Security Reassessment
Dec. 27, 1974  Retirement Security
Sep. 20, 1972  Social Security Financing
Dec. 14, 1966  Social Security Improvements
Mar. 28, 1956  Social Security for the Disabled
Mar. 26, 1953  Social Security Expansion
Aug. 17, 1951  Relief Rolls in Prosperity
Dec. 24, 1949  Pensions for All
Aug. 12, 1948  Security for the Aged
Apr. 11, 1946  Social Insurance
Mar. 02, 1944  Social Security
Dec. 02, 1939  Liberalization of the Social Security System
Oct. 01, 1938  Agitation for Pension and Scrip Schemes
Jul. 26, 1938  Revision of the Social Security Act
Oct. 02, 1936  The Social Security Controversy
Nov. 12, 1934  Federal Assistance to the Aged
Aug. 23, 1930  Public Old-Age Pensions
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Privatization of Government Functions
Retirement, Pensions, and Social Security
Social Security