For a good explanation of how Social Security’s original motives have been subverted, read the April 18, 2012 Washington Post editorial by Robert J. Samuelson. This subversion has caused Social Security to “morph” into an entitlement program, and worse, it has created entitlement expectations that are unsustainable.
Here’s a quote, “What we have is a vast welfare program grafted onto the rhetoric and psychology of a contributory pension. The result is entitlement. Unsurprisingly, AARP’s advertising slogan is “You’ve earned a say” on Social Security. The trouble is that contributions weren’t saved. They went to past beneficiaries. The $2.6 trillion in the Social Security trust fund at year-end 2010 sounds like a lot but equals slightly more than three years of benefits.”