The AARP Plan to Keep Social Security and Screw Over Millennials and Generation X

Jonathan Peterson, author of Social Security for Dummies posted a puff piece aimed in part at Millennials on titled “Securing Social Security’s Future: 3 reasons why the program will be there for you.”  For Millennials, listening to the AARP about the stability of Social Security is akin to asking a real estate agent if now is a good time to buy a home.   Or asking President Obama about the state of the American economy.  Let’s take a closer look at this fine example of how Baby Boomers smile at you as they slowly twist the knife.

With all the doom and gloom that swirls around the future of Social Security, it’s no wonder so many people have questions about what’s in store. Only 10 percent of Americans ages 25 to 69 are “very confident” they’ll get as much as the program delivers today, and 18 percent believe they’ll get nothing, the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) 2015 Retirement Confidence Survey found.  

The EBRI Survey covered the responses by Americans across generations, including retirees.  But a survey this past month from T. Rowe Price puts the percent of Millennials who believe that they will receive no benefits from Social Security at 60%.  This is reasonably close to the findings by Pew Research Center in 2014, where 50% responded in a similar fashion. Millennials are aware that this entitlement program will not be there to serve them when it is their time to retire.

Yet despite the program’s challenges, concerns about its long-term viability go way too far. Most experts agree that Social Security will endure as the foundation of retirement security for the vast majority of Americans — and not just for boomers but for their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well.

This is a sales pitch to soothe the masses of Millennials who fund the program via their taxes each week and will not discover how much of a detriment that Social Security is to them until it is too late.  The Social Security “trust fund” is an absolute joke.  The chuckleheads who run Social Security piss taxpayer money away at a frightening pace.  This is the same program that secretly funded Nazi war criminals, overpays those who are living and continues to pay those who have died.  What is truly sad is that the continuation of this train wreck is being trumpeted as some fantastic gift to all of us.

Big majorities of the public benefit from Social Security — or will one day — so pretty much everyone wants to maintain its protections. In a 2014 survey by the National Academy of Social Insurance, 84 percent of Democrats and 69 percent of Republicans agreed it is “critical” to preserve benefits, even if that meant increasing taxes.

If Millennials truly understood just how much Social Security stole from them, would they continue to accept the terms?  Most understand that there is a high probability that they will not receive benefits and that even if they do receive something, they most assuredly will not receive anything near the amount that they are forced to contribute.  Eventually we will reach a breaking point with Generation X’ers and Millennials.  Perhaps a tax increase to increase funding to a program from which they will not benefit will be the final straw.

In many ways, the program is becoming more important in today’s economy, as growing numbers of Americans face retirement without other financial resources to rely on.

Social Security provides at least half the family income for about 1 in 2 older Americans, and it provides most income for 1 in 4. In part, that’s because other financial supports for retirement have weakened in recent years.

Yes, Social Security provides income.  But for retirees who no longer work, Social Security is expected to be the primary source of income.  Assets are a different story entirely.  The wealth disparity between Baby Boomers and Millennials is real.

Doubts about Social Security’s future are based on an assumption that the financial challenge the program faces is overwhelming. How big is the long-term shortfall?

According to the system’s 2014 Trustees Report (the 2015 report is expected shortly), Social Security has a $2.8 trillion surplus and can pay full benefits for another 18 years. The surplus will be gone in 2033, estimated the report, which forecast the outlook 75 years into the future. At that time, if Congress takes no action, revenue from payroll taxes would enable Social Security to pay people 77 percent of their promised benefits.

The $2.8 trillion surplus is ‘nonsense’ as Alan Greenspan recently noted.  By the time we are ready to retire, the best case scenario is that Social Security pays us 77% of today’s benefits, of which a current retiree can expect less money than they paid in.  Unless you are an idiot, waiting decades to receive less money than you put it is most assuredly not in your best financial interest.

A unique feature that stood out to me about this article is the picture that they’ve used. Just a sea of beaming, mostly young faces. Four look above the age of 50, ten appear to be Millennials and four are from Generation Z.  They’re all bright, happy and smiling…  But will they still be grinning ear-to-ear when they figure out that Social Security will not financially support them as it did for the Baby Boomers?  When their taxes are raised for benefits that they will not receive, will we still see their pearly white smiles?  Or will they be replaced with yellowed or missing teeth because they can no longer afford dental?  The truth about Social Security will wipe the smile right off of those faces and hopefully, move young America into action.

-R.J. Renza, Jr.

Take a moment and sign the National Petition to Opt-Out of Social Security. The more signatures we gather, the more pressure we place on Congress and our political leaders.

This week marks the release of my first e-book “How Are You Not Angry Yet: How Social Security is Destroying the Futures, Finances and Hopes of Generations X,Y and Z and How We Can Put and End to it,” which takes on Social Security from the perspective of young America in a visceral and humorous way.  “Angry Yet” breaks down the complex topic of Social Security into a way that most Americans can easily understand and find entertaining and is available here.

Check out my video of how I celebrated Social Security’s 80th Birthday  and you can also follow me on Twitter at


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