Social Security’s Bleak Future Has Arrived

David C. John /

For the last couple of decades, Social Security analysts, public trustees, and even both Republican and Democratic Presidents have warned that unless the program is fixed, it faces perpetual cash-flow deficits. And now, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says that those perpetual deficits have arrived.

As a result, it is even more urgent that Social Security is fixed and placed on a firm fiscal footing. While the program will be able to pay the benefits that it has promised older Americans, younger workers can expect a 22 percent across-the-board benefit cut that will hit everyone, including those with the lowest incomes. The only way to avoid that scenario is to change the system.

A few months ago, the Social Security Administration (SSA) reported that those permanent deficits would not arrive until 2016, but the new CBO budget estimates say that SSA was overly optimistic. The agency says that Social Security will pay out more than $600 billion more in benefits than it will receive from its payroll taxes and other revenues in just the next 10 years alone. Every year between now and 2021 will see deficits of between (more…)