For Most, Social Security Is Pocket Money—Not a Pension

For Most, Social Security Is Pocket Money—Not a Pension

By Marine Cole

More than one-third of Americans who haven’t reached retirement age believes that Social Security will be a major source of income in their post-work years despite the ongoing funding problems of the government program.

The 36 percent of those polled in a recent Gallup survey who expect to rely heavily on Social Security represents the highest percentage in 15 years. It’s also nearly 10 percentage point higher than a decade ago.

Related: 6 Popular Social Security Myths Busted

In addition, 48 percent told Gallup that they expect Social Security to be a minor source of retirement funds, while only 14 percent said that they don’t expect Social Security to be a source of retirement income at all.

“Generally speaking, the older non-retirees are and the lower their household income is, the more they expect to rely on Social Security as a major source of retirement funds,” according to Gallup.

Close to half of non-retirees whose annual household income is less than $30,000 said Social Security will be a major source of funds.

Believing that Social Security will be a major source of retirement income might not be a great idea.

Social Security currently provides average benefits of about $1,260 a month. Going forward, Social Security checks could shrink if funding problems persist or benefits could start kicking in at an older age.

Number of the Day: 5.5 Percent

The debate over national health care aside, more Americans today say they get "excellent health care" than did in the early 2000s, according to <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/150806/rate-own-healthcare-quality-coverage-excellent.aspx" target="_blank"
Getty Images
By Yuval Rosenberg

Health care spending in the U.S. will grow at an average annual rate of 5.5 percent from 2017 through 2026, according to new estimates published in Health Affairs by the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

The projections mean that health care spending would rise as a share of the economy from 17.9 percent in 2016 to 19.7 percent in 2026.

Part of the Shutdown-Ending Deal: $31 Billion More in Tax Cuts

The U.S. Capitol building is lit at dusk ahead of planned votes on tax reform in Washington, U.S., December 18, 2017.   REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/Files
Joshua Roberts
By The Fiscal Times Staff

Margot Sanger-Katz and Jim Tankersley in The New York Times: “The deal struck by Democrats and Republicans on Monday to end a brief government shutdown contains $31 billion in tax cuts, including a temporary delay in implementing three health care-related taxes.”

“Those delays, which enjoy varying degrees of bipartisan support, are not offset by any spending cuts or tax increases, and thus will add to a federal budget deficit that is already projected to increase rapidly as last year’s mammoth new tax law takes effect.”

IRS Paid $20 Million to Collect $6.7 Million in Tax Debts

The IRS provides second chances to get your tax return right with Form 1040X.
iStockphoto
By The Fiscal Times Staff

Congress passed a law in 2015 requiring the IRS to use private debt collection agencies to pursue “inactive tax receivables,” but the financial results are not encouraging so far, according to a new taxpayer advocate report out Wednesday.

In fiscal year 2017, the IRS received $6.7 million from taxpayers whose debts were assigned to private collection agencies, but the agencies were paid $20 million – “three times the amount collected,” the report helpfully points out.

Like what you're reading? Sign up for our free newsletter.

Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan See Small GDP Boost from Tax Bill

Belize sure is bumpy.
Wikipedia
By Yuval Rosenberg

Goldman Sachs economists see the tax bill adding 0.3 percentage points to GDP growth in 2018 and 2019 while JP Morgan forecasts a similar gain of 0.3 percentage points next year and 0.2 percentage points the year after.

Goldman’s analysts add that federal spending, which is likely to grow more quickly next year than it has recently, will bring the total fiscal boost to around 0.6 percentage points for 2018 and 0.4 percentage points in 2019.

Both banks see deficits likely rising above $1 trillion, or about 5 percent of GDP, in 2019.