We’re lucky that Social Security has been around long enough for all to see it’s benefits. I say this because those against Social Security have prevented the establishment of a 100% actuarily sound system ever since it began in the 1930s. They want to be able to say that Social Security is doomed to failure, even though it could be made actuarily sound with relatively slight adjustments to FICA and Self-Employment taxation. (Something major should really be done to make FICA and Self-Employment more equal, as well as removing the “cap”.) Retirement age should not have been raised. As has been pointed out by others here, wear and tear on the bodies of the 99% calls for lowering the retirement age!
In spite of all the malice inherent in the laws of Social Security, the SSTF (Social Security Trust Fund) has had a surplus ever since it began. Because that surplus is invested in (interest bearing) Treasury Securities that cash has lessened the taxation burden for all the wars we’ve waged since 1935 (e.g. WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afganistan, and other miscellaneous Pentagon activity). (Ditto for all the foreign money invested in Treasuries.) But, by law, FICA and Self-Employment revenue are to be used only for Social Security benefits. That’s the law the Republicans hate. They want to transform the SSTF into merely a regressive flat tax on the 99% in order to reduce progressive income tax on the 1%.
The Republicans also hate the SSTF because it belongs to all of us, the public. They want everything privatised, like what’s happening in Greece now, with the sale of airports and seaports to private entities. Then they can pay outrageous compensation to ceos. Who cares about the little guy!
The last time anything was done to help Social Security was during the Reagan administration, and the changes were bi-partisan. But, even then, the Democrats caved in to the Republicans, and 100% actuarial soundness was not enacted. We’re at a similar point now where actuarial reality is creeping up to annoy us. What will be the outcome?