The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

August 28, 2012

No support for cutting Social Security benefits

As Republicans and Democrats gather this week and next at their respective national conventions, hanging over their heads is a different kind of hurricane. The largest federal program in the United States — Social Security — could become a Category 5 catastrophe unless changes are made.

But what changes?

And who pays?

As millions of baby boomers reach retirement, the burden on Social Security grows. About 56 million people get benefits today, and that is projected to grow to 91 million in 2035. That has changed the calculus of the program. In 1950, in the early years of the baby boom, there were 16 workers for each retiree, spreading the tax burden out. It’s now 3.3 workers per retiree, and that is expected to drop to two workers per retiree by 2025.

For nearly three decades, workers generated Social Security surpluses, providing more in tax revenue than the system paid in benefits to retirees, disabled workers, spouses and children. Social Security’s surplus, now valued at $2.7 trillion, is projected to be gone in 2033. At that point, Social Security would collect enough tax revenue each year to pay only about 75 percent of benefits. Once Social Security’s surplus is gone, the program is projected to pay out $134 trillion more in benefits than it will collect in taxes over the next 75 years, according to data from the Social Security Administration.

Options for extending the life of Social Security include imposing the payroll tax on higher incomes, raising taxes on all workers, cutting benefits to retirees, raising the retirement age, or some combination of those elements.

Paul Zagorski, a political science professor at Pittsburg (Kan.) State University, said that for both political parties, the real conventions aren’t the ones on television this week and next, but take place when political leaders meet with their big donors — off-camera and unreported.

“Everything else is just infomercial,” he said.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0420earthday.jpg Prairie State Park kicks off Earth Day events

    Prairie State Park began celebrating Earth Day early with an event Saturday that provided a chance for people of all ages to learn more about how they can protect the environment.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joplin Catholic schools to hold annual spring auction

    The Joplin Area Catholic Schools spring auction will be staged Saturday at the Jack Lawton Webb Convention Center, 5300 S. Range Line Road in Joplin.

    April 19, 2014

  • Wally Kennedy MUG72.jpg Wally Kennedy: Another pizza choice and ice cream on the way

    A new pizza restaurant is coming to the northwest corner of Stone’s Corner in the Village of Airport Drive. Piez is opening this week in a storefront that formerly housed Quincy Magoo’s, 6039 N. Main Street Road, which has been closed for more than two years.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • mike pound_cnhi .jpg Mike Pound: No more hiding Easter eggs or emotions

    Well, that’s a wrap on the Easter egg hunts. For about 15 years we have staged not one, but two Easter egg hunts for our now 16-year-old daughter, Emma.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041914 Wedding1_72.jpg VIDEO: Cancer patient walks down aisle in wedding thrown by friends

    A year ago, Schandera Jordan was diagnosed with a rare form cervical cancer. And months after a radical hysterectomy, doctors confirmed the worst: The cancer had spread to her lungs and pancreas.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • r041614giregabby.jpg SLIDE SHOW: Teen with cystic fibrosis finds widespread support

    When the Nevada Show Choir performs its spring show on stage, it’s impossible to pick out the student with cystic fibrosis because there are no outward clues.
    Gabby Gire, 18, is just another performer. She sings, she dances, she smiles for the audience.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • Enrollment open for Joplin summer school

    Enrollment is now open for the Joplin school district’s summer school session, which will run Wednesday, June 4, though Tuesday, July 1.

    April 19, 2014

  • r041814capbus4.jpg Funding shortfall could hinder public transportation in Southeast Kansas

    For the past two years, Pittsburg State University sophomore Travis Cook has been using public transportation to get to and from his classes. He began using the bus his freshman year, when he didn’t have a vehicle to drive even to the grocery store — which is said to be the case for many who use the service.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bruner denied change of venue for murder trial

    Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a change of venue for a defendant charged with fatally shooting an assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University. The attorney for Jeffrey Bruner claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking a change of venue in Jasper County Circuit Court.

    April 18, 2014

  • Russell family sues city, Joplin police

    Family members of a teenage girl whose suicide a year ago brought them into conflict with police officers and emergency medical technicians are suing the city and the Joplin Police Department. Kevin and Julissa Russell and their son, Brant Russell, are the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court. The action filed on the Russells’ behalf by Kansas City attorney Andrew Protzman names the city, the Police Department and Officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christensen as defendants.

    April 18, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Missouri Republicans are considering a new approach to prevent federal agents from enforcing laws the state considers to be infringements on gun rights: barring them from future careers in state law enforcement agencies. Do you think this proposal has merit?

Yes
No
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter