I was chatting with my older sister this weekend. She related how, when she was first entering the work force, she was told not to count on Social Security being around when she reached retirement age. That was more than 25 years ago. I can’t remember anybody in my generation ever thinking anything other than that Social Security would go bust before we ever got a chance to claim the benefits for which we were allegedly paying into the system. We all knew that our contributions were being spent, and the only thing in the “lockbox” was a stack of IOUs.
My point is that we’ve known for at least 25 years that we had a problem. It’s not exactly true that we’ve done nothing. We’ve invented Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and 401k plans. But at the same time, we’ve left the charade that is Social Security go unreformed.