This post was prompted by all-too-common opinions expressed in Randall Holcombe's recent "Federal Government Debt Undermines the Programs It Finances" blog. The respondents passionately insist that Social Security is a contract, whatever you do to the budget, do not touch Social Security. "I paid in and it is a contract. They owe me."
The Supreme Court settled this issue in 1960! Even more to the point, the Social Security Administration mocks those who think it is a binding contract. On the SSA's own web site, it states:
"There has been a temptation throughout the program's history for some people to suppose that their FICA payroll taxes entitle them to a benefit in a legal, contractual sense."