In the 70's, when the Boomers were just coming into the best earning years, the system was flooded with cash. It was then that the stipends started to skyrocket, disability pensions were added, the amounts were indexed to inflation, and so on. Initially, it was sold as a SUPPLEMENT to YOUR OWN RETIREMENT RESOURCES. When people first started complaining that it wasn't enough to live on, they were bitch-slapped because it was never intended to be enough, by itself, to live on. But then, the Boomer money started coming in, and Congress saw a way of buying the votes of old bastards (like me). It was and is disgraceful.