Birth Dearth Reflected in Latest Social Security Numbers

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist

As GOP presidential candidates argue about the future of Social Security, newly released data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the program is not only insolvent, but the steadily declining birthrate has left just 1.75 full time private-sector workers paying into the program for every citizen currently drawing benefits. is reporting that recent data shows that for every husband and wife who worked full-time in the private sector last year, there was a Social Security recipient somewhere in the country relying on those benefits. Riddled with serious financial problems, the program is also compromised by the results of the country’s dwindling birth rate which reduced the number of persons paying into the system for each recipient from 41.5 in 1945 to just 1.75 today.

As CNS explains, most state and local workers are part of the Social Security system and pay Social Security taxes; and, since 1984, all federal workers have been part of the system and pay Social Security taxes. In order to get your social security you have to bring your social security card, if you have lost it here is how to get a new social security card. “However, unlike private sector workers who pay Social Security taxes with private-sector dollars, government workers pay their payroll taxes out of wages government pays them with tax dollars or with money that was borrowed by government and taxpayers must eventually repay,” CNS reports.

“In its latest annual report, the Social Security board of trustees reported that the federal government’s total revenue from Social Security taxes in 2010—$544.8 billion—was not enough to cover Social Security’s total benefit payments—$577.4 billion.”

The board of trustees reported that there were 156.725 million “covered workers” in the U.S. who paid some Social Security tax last year, but this includes government workers. With 53.398 million Social Security recipients in 2010, that means there were just 2.9 workers who were paying into the system for each person who withdrew money. But when government workers are removed from those numbers, it drops to just 1.75.

The remaining 93.641 million full-time private sector workers who paid into Social Security last year form the foundation for the tax base that supports both the government and Social Security in particular.

Even while presidential candidates spar over what to do about Social Security, experts agree that the program’s future is indeed cloudy as 79 million baby boomers are just beginning to tap into their monthly benefits, which is why most Americans have a dismal view of the future of Social Security. An unscientific poll of nearly 100,000 people taken by Fox News found that 75 percent believe Americans under the age of 55 will never see a dime of what they paid into the system when it is their turn to retire.

President Obama’s blue-ribbon deficit reduction commission has already warned that “immense demographic changes will bring the Social Security program to its knees” unless Washington enacts reforms to sustain it. But too many of the president’s policies in support of abortion rights and liberal family planning programs are only adding to the immensity of those “demographic changes” rather than reversing the tide.

“We are accustomed to thinking of abortion and, to a certain extent, sterilization and contraception, as exclusively moral issues,” writes Steven W. Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute.

“But abortion and its cohorts can also be viewed as the wanton destruction of incredible amounts of human capital, in the American case roughly equivalent to nuking a mid-sized American city each year. Government-funded contraception and sterilization programs — holdovers from the days of the population bomb scares — also deliberately suppress the birth rate, and may be said to prevent the formation of human capital.”

For instance, as Mosher points out, even though the cost of raising a child is estimated to be about $200,000 over a 20 year period, the future earnings of that child are well over ten times that amount, probably in the neighborhood of between $4 and $5 million.

“How many people realize that every abortion is the death of a small fortune — and another nail in the coffin of Social Security?” he asks.

“The Social Security trustees themselves estimate that, for each one-tenth increase in the TFR [total fertility rate], Social Security will remain solvent for three additional years. The TFR currently stands at 2.0. If it were to increase to 3.0, which is where it stood after the introductions of the Pill and feminism but prior to Roe v. Wade, then Social Security would be solvent for an additional 30 years — with no change in current taxes and benefits.”

The bottom line, he says, is that “If any political party is serious about saving Social Security, it should be advocating the end of abortion on demand.”

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