Shaky Social Security Trust Fund May Run Out in 11 Years

Are you ready for 30 percent cuts in benefits to keep the program alive?

by J.D. Tuccille

For those of us who consider President Franklin Delano Roosevelt more of a political grifter than a policy innovator, it’s no surprise that his signature fiscal legacy, Social Security, is in dire financial straits. New data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) once again points out that the program, which was crafted from the beginning to meet political needs rather than economic reality, requires either a massive infusion of funds or else drastic cuts to benefits in order to maintain its viability. Of course, Social Security is only part (though a significant part) of the commitments taken on by a federal government committed to fiscal irresponsibility.

“Because the trust funds’ revenues are currently lower than their outlays and projected to grow more slowly than those outlays, the Social Security program has a long-term actuarial deficit,” a CBO data update noted last week. “Over the next 75 years, if current laws remained in place, the program’s actuarial deficit would equal 1.7 percent of GDP, or 4.9 percent of taxable payroll, CBO projects.”

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