SS was started as a pay as you go program, but it collected more money than it needed. (Dittohead Not! was not clear enough about this.) So we spent it (like we did with airport taxes etc.). Yes, itís not bankrupt especially if the money was paid back. And in the beginning it was more than a retirement program as it is now. Since it is a pay as you go program, cpwillís calculations are incorrect; the money is not invested, rather paid in and out at the same time; although we did get ahead.
And it should get back to a pay as you go model with a few years of funds ahead, but not to spend on reducing taxes. For retirement SS should be just enough to survive on. So lots of people donít end up begging on the street. For a comfortable retirement one would need to save and possibly invest more.
BTY we are retired, me at 55 my wife at 59, and SS makes up a moderate portion of our cash flow. Iím a true design engineer, trained to look for what works; therefore, no real political affiliation. It was fine with me to participate in the pay as we go for a portion of my cash flow and for the other programs.