If Bush and the Republicans had managed to steal Social Security, the Poor people Sean Hannity so hates and despises would be dead and he could go back to claiming 9/11 happened while President Clinton was in office, TARP was signed by President Obama and Barack the Great didn't want to kill Osama Bin Laden.
The Republican Party has always hated SSI, because of what it represents; a chance for the oppressed to retire and live after they have finished decades of labor. Republicans would much rather you work yourself to death, thank you very much.
The release on April 23rd of the 2012 Annual Report by the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds (OASDI) made it clear Social Security isn't going to run out of money anytime soon. The assets in the Social Security Trust Fund total $2,700,000,000,000. ($2.7 Trillion dollars). In fact, Social Security is fully funded (i.e. 100% solvent) all the way through 2033.
And once we hit that year the Baby Boomer Bulge draining Social Security will have passed and the Nation will be dealing with the demographically much smaller Generation X.
But, damn Trillions of dollars just sitting there! That's a wet-dream for the thieving, perfidious and despicable Right-Wingers. The Rich! Want! That Fucking! Money! And Republicans would love to to swindle it from the Trust Fund and roll it into Wall Street from whence their Banking Buddies could apply some Synthetic Collateralized Debt Obligations and Naked Credit Default Swap and...
But, never forget that no matter what the Republican liars, Faux Drones, or conservative sycophants proclaim Social Security has been funded overwhelmingly by the Working and Middle Class. The Rich are not paying vast sums into Social Security because the OASDI payroll tax collection has been capped for decades and collects Zero dollars over the current top amount of $110,000.
As Kevin Drum noted in 2010,
In 1983, when we last reformed Social Security, we made an implicit deal between two groups of American taxpayers. Call them Groups A and B. For about 30 years, Group A would pay higher taxes than necessary, thus allowing Group B to reduce their tax rates. Then, for about 30 years after that, Group A would pay lower taxes than necessary and Group B would make up for this with higher tax rates.
This might have been a squirrelly deal to make. But it doesn't matter. It's the deal we made. And it's obviously unfair to change it halfway through.
So who is Group A? It's people who pay Social Security payroll taxes, which mostly means working and middle class taxpayers. And who is Group B? It's people who pay federal income taxes, which mostly means the well-off and the rich. For nearly 30 years, Group A has been overpaying payroll taxes, and that's allowed the government to lower income tax rates. The implicit promise of the 1983 deal is that sometime in the next few years, this is going to flip. Group A will begin underpaying payroll taxes, and the rich, who have reaped the benefits of their overpayment for 30 years, will make good on their half of the deal by paying higher income tax rates to make up the difference.
The physical embodiment of this deal is the Social Security trust fund. Group A overpaid and built up a pile of bonds in the trust fund. Those bonds are a promise by Group B to repay the money. That promise is going to start coming due in a few years, and it's hardly surprising that Group B isn't as excited about the deal now as it was in 1983. It's never as much fun paying off a loan as it is to spend the money in the first place.
But pay it off they must.