As I've written before, the baby boomer generation often disgusts me with its lack of personal responsibility, and the generation's selfishness is nowhere more audacious than when it comes to Social Security. I can't explain it nearly as well as the Heritage Foundation, so go read about "How The Social Security Trust Fund Really Works". The key idea is this:
First, the Treasury estimates how much of the aggregate tax receipts are Social Security taxes and "credits" the Social Security trust fund with that amount. Then the Treasury "subtracts" the total amount paid in monthly Social Security benefits from the trust fund balance. No money actually changes hands; these are strictly accounting entries.
Any "money" remaining in the trust fund is converted into special-issue Treasury bonds, which are really nothing more than IOUs. In addition, the Treasury pays interest on the trust fund's balance by crediting the trust fund with additional IOUs. These are also strictly accounting entries, and again no money changes hands. After crediting the trust fund with the proper amount in IOUs, the government spends the extra Social Security tax collections just like any other tax revenue--to finance anything from aircraft carriers to education research.
There is no money in the "trust fund". Zero. Zilch. Nada. The only thing in the "trust fund" is a stack of IOUs, promising to repay the money that the baby boomer-controlled Congress has already spent on other crap.
What's the implication? Look at it this way: the baby boomers, via Congress, have already spent the money they contributed to Social Security. They've spent it on "anything from aircraft carriers to education research"... whatever they want. Guess who's going to have to repay those IOUs? They're going to start coming due around 2018 when Social Security is projected to start running a deficit; the people who will be forced to repay those IOUs are the taxpayers of 2018 and beyond... my generation!
So not only have the baby boomers saddled their children and grandchildren with the burden of supporting them during retirement, they've also spent all the surplus and replaced it with IOUs that their children and grandchildren will have to pay back. Starting in 2018, my generation will begin paying for all the crap our parents have been buying for decades.
Frankly, if I think about it too hard I just get angry. The dysfunction of the baby boomers knows no bounds, and as a generation they disgust, frighten, and enrage me. The baby boomers have consciously, purposefully, and systematically schemed to live far beyond their means and to leave their children and grandchildren mired in debt.