R2, thanks for having a civil exchange on these important matters.
I generally agree with parts of your most recent post, but you are missing my valid points. Yes, I'm primarily talking about OASI.
First, a trust fund does not need "trillions of dollars just sitting around" to be called and considered a trust fund. And yes, it existed, but you don't seem to understand complex accounting and how the federal government keeps its internal books (as opposed to what's discussed by the media).
Next, I consider it essentially illegal for the outgoing Johnson Administration's and incoming Nixon Administration's backroom deal permanently placing all of SS "on-budget" so as to conceal the general fund's huge deficits and hide the costs of the Vietnam War from the unsuspecting public.
SS OASI had an accounting surplus of hundreds of billions last I saw, but there is no cash. Maybe you know the event that "swiped" the cash which belonged to the SS Trust Fund? There is a huge "IOU" from the Treasury to the empty SS Trust Fund even though the government insists the latter is intact and safe. There's not even enough gold in KY and NY to cover only reimbursement of simple SS pay-ins that the Treasury owes taxpayers.
It appears that monthly OASI benefits will have to be cut, which I assume you have been suggesting. Americans need to wise up, get off their butts and take action, but that's not going to happen. Like ostriches with heads in sand, many still believe GOP rhetoric that taxes should be cut, the party can continue acting like spoiled children, and things will somehow be alright.
Were it not for the overwhelming national debt, old age pensioners would receive benefits under current formulae far into the future. I am not privy to all current projections, but the same thing will probably happen as in 1981-82: OASDI tax rates will have to be increased and benefits will have to be cut because the government simply doesn't have enough cash flow into the general fund thanks to incessant tax cuts and recession!
My concern since entering college years ago has been the national debt; someone is going to have start paying up big time and soon. The poor, working, and middle classes have been squeezed for their last drop and the wealthy will protest with their financial power backing them. That's why to me, the Social Security problem is "in the background."
Lastly, about the wealthy, SS caps and payments, you are not taking into account the actual tax burden borne even if the rich countered with the "welfare program argument." They do exactly that now with income tax by hawking about how they pay the majority of income taxes, but they most certainly do not bear the majority of the tax burden.