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May 1, 2013

The Dismal Financial Performance of Social Security

Let's go right to the SSA's statistics to see how Social Security is performing.

In FY2012, the Social Security Administration estimated receipts from individuals at just under $490 billion.

By comparison, the federal government brought in $1.1 trillion in individual income taxes (a little more than 2X).  Another way to compare these revenues is by employee.  With about 135 million nonfarm payrolls, this amounts to roughly $3,600 per worker.  The outlays for Social Security reveal the depth of the operational problem:

If we take the same number of employees and apply the same calculation, we get $4,675 per employee.  Keep in mind, these numbers become worse if we include disability and other entitlement trusts.  But for every worker, the Social Security Administration takes in $3,600 and pays out $4,675.  By looking at the projections, it's not going to get much better:

How is a program like this sustainable?  Next week, we'll introduce you to the government's "other income" in Social Security.

NOTE: On April 17th, 2013, the Social Security Administration edited its data for FY2012.  (link here)

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