Sunday, January 09, 2005


More from Pumpkinhead:

When the baby boomers retire, there'll be 80 million. Roosevelt said eligibility 65, which was genius, because if you made it to 65, you were on Social Security for a month or two and that was it. Life expectancy's now 78, 79, 80 years old, so you have twice as many people on the program for 15 years.

Um, Timmy? No. There's a difference between life expectancy at birth, and life expectancy at 65. According to the folks at the SSA, for the cohort of people who turned 65 in 1945, 53.9% of men and 60.6% of females survived from age 21-65. And, for those made it that long - survived until 65 - on average males lived until they were 77.7 and females lived until they were 79.7.

While increasing life expectancies obviously have had some impact on total social security payouts, a big chunk of the increase in life expectancy overall has been due to reductions in the mortality of children, who never pay a cent into social security anyway.

The SSA explains:

However, as Table 1 indicates, the average life expectancy at age 65 (i.e., the number of years a person could be expected to receive unreduced Social Security retirement benefits) has only increased a modest 5 years (on average) since 1940. So, for example, men attaining 65 in 1990 can expect to live for 15.3 years compared to 12.7 years for men attaining 65 back in 1940. So the actual increase in time that males can anticipate receiving Social Security is closer to 3 years than to 14.

One wonders who feeds Timmah this horseshit.

...just to add, I know people make mistakes on live (or live to tape) TV/radio - especially if the conversation veers away from what you thought you'd be talking about. But Russert is the host. His job is to put together an entire hour of television (plus his 1/2 hour CNBC interview show) once per week. It's the flagship weekly political talk show, and he gets things like this wrong?