Aug. 14, 1935, President Roosevelt signed into law the Social Security Act. This act was made to provide a retirement for those above the age of 65 yrs. The first taxes collected for this law was Jan. 1937, that was 74 years ago. The law said that the taxes were to be in an "Old Age Account" and to be invested in such investments that drew no less than 3% per annum. This was the act of 1935. If this was invested in such a fund and was placed in a trust, where is the money today.
Assuming that the fund were in a trust and kept up with the markets, there would be plenty to take care of the needs today. That is if it were paid out as outlined. But, there is no money in this account! If there were President Obama could not threaten to hold the Social Security check if we couldn't borrow the money to do so. Where is the trust fund designed to pay these funds? They aren't there! Why? Because our government, that is supposed to look out for our interest, spent it for other things. The government has been spending the money as it came in!
If the politicians had done the job they were elected to do, there would not be a shortage of funds. This money was spent on the stimulus, roads, EPA, defense, etc. (This statement is taken from and article by Craig Steiner entitled "The Truth About Social Security")
There are other reasons that I see as a default to this system. These are called entitlement programs, be paid out to those entitled. Who is entitled, according the the original act, those who earned a wage, the poor, disabled etc. that were U.S. citizens. It is hard to build a fund if it is spent on those that do not contribute.
The solution to the problem, is to elect officials from the President, congress etc that will own up to the problem and reform the system to do what it was designed to do. It would do us well to examine the canidates and email, write or call and let them what we expect.