Adam Fischbaum Blog | Third Rail...Anyone? | Talkmarkets
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With over 20 years of professional investment experience under his belt, Adam Fischbaum’s work has appeared on Yahoo Finance,,, Seeking Alpha, and his soon to be more frequent blog When not  working as a financial advisor, ... more

Third Rail...Anyone?

Date: Thursday, February 18, 2016 4:59 PM EDT

I don’t get political in print that often. I’m an investment guy. It’s what I do. But, the presidential “Silly Season” is upon us and the vitriol from both sides is spewing from the BS hydrant at full blast.


From the GOP its immigration (always the easy scapegoat), Obama, who I thought isn’t running this time, ISIS, the Second Amendment and the vacant Supreme Court seat. I’ve even heard eminent domain as, what I’d like to call, a WTF issue. Because, you know, eminent domain threatens our national existence on a daily basis. Not.


While the Democrats seem to address more substantive issues, at times, like student debt, healthcare affordability, and the environment, their POV typical comes from the entitlement handing out side. Predictably, they’re promising a lot of stuff that will be paid for through higher taxes on those dastardly rich people and big businesses, primarily Wall Street.


However, also typically, no one, I repeat…NO ONE, will go near: Social Security, the third rail of American politics. And I don’t expect anybody to. With 75.4 million baby boomers, of which 10,000 turn 65 every day, why would you chase off potential votes by standing up and telling the truth? Any politician worth his salt knows better.


But the simple fact is, Social Security is going to be in trouble and SOMETHING has to be done about it. The biggest challenge the system faces? Rock bottom interest rates that are not going up any time soon and too many people living too long while they draw their checks. According to the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees summary of the 2015 annual report: “Social Security’s total expenditures have exceeded non-interest income of its combined trust funds since 2010, and the Trustees estimate that Social Security cost will exceed non-interest income throughout the 75-year projection period. The Trustees project that this annual cash-flow deficit will average about $76 billion between 2015 and 2018 before rising steeply as income growth slows to its sustainable trend rate after the economic recovery is complete while the number of beneficiaries continues to grow at a substantially faster rate than the number of covered workers.”

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