Social Security reaches it’s milestone 80th birthday today. Major media outlets have been falling all over themselves to flatter the institution. They are attempting to reassure Millennials that Social Security will be around for them and are hoping for another 80 years. But most young Americans aren’t fooled, and many, like my self, wish that someone would pull the plug on the old hag.
You see, Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system. No matter what lies politicians flat-out state or lightly imply, there is no “retirement account” waiting for us. The money we have put in has already been spent, and will continue to be allocated from our payroll taxes toward the tens of thousands of Baby Boomers that retire each day. That money does not belong to us.
2012 marked the first year that Social Security recipients would receive less, on average, in benefits than what they put into the system. That means that people who have retired since then will never recover the money that they put in. So what will be left for Generation Xer’s and Millennials? The best case scenario is that we would get approximately 75% of our promised benefits. But the system, which is several trillion dollars underfunded is not guaranteed to make it until then.
They could “strengthen” Social Security by increasing the retirement age or cutting benefits. Of course, these changes won’t affect Baby Boomers and those who are currently benefiting from the system. Those changes will only affect those who haven’t retired yet, and those who don’t aren’t even old enough to vote. These generations, who have already been saddled with a sluggish job market and massive student loan debt, will be forced to shoulder the financial burden of Baby Boomers and politicians.
So when self-seeking windbags try to sell young Americans that Social Security is worth expanding, or some financial ‘expert’ tells you that you “shouldn’t diss Social Security,” it’s time for Millennials and Generation Xer’s to tell them to shut the hell up. They are either incapable of basic math, or are shills for mass media and a broken system that does not serve young America. These blowhards don’t care about your financial future, only their narrow agendas.
It’s time that we, as individuals, were given the choice to remain in a broken system or to take our money and run. Every American citizen should be allowed the choice to opt-out of Social Security if they so desire, and that is what we are fighting for here. It’s time that we all crashed the party and let Congress, the AARP and mass media know that we want out.
So don’t be surprised when you fail to see young Americans singing along for Social Security’s 80th birthday. We know that we aren’t allowed into the party until its time to clean up the mess.
-R.J. Renza, Jr.
Please 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.