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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

Social Security: Cash Negative

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Ouch. hate to mention it, but Social Security is not healing itself....

 

Last year, as a debate over the runaway national debt gathered steam in Washington, Social Security passed a treacherous milestone. It went “cash negative.”

For most of its 75-year history, the program had paid its own way through a dedicated stream of payroll taxes, even generating huge surpluses for the past two decades. But in 2010, under the strain of a recession that caused tax revenue to plummet, the cost of benefits outstripped tax collections for the first time since the early 1980s.

 

 

Social Security, until now a huge lender to the government, will begin demanding repaiment to its trust fund to cover the shortfall. If fully repaid, the trust fund can fully finance benefits until 2036, when people currently about 40 years old will begin to retire. Once the trust fund runs out, monthly benefits will decrease by about a quarter.
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Social Security, until now a huge lender to the government, will begin demanding repaiment to its trust fund to cover the shortfall. If fully repaid, the trust fund can fully finance benefits until 2036, when people currently about 40 years old will begin to retire. Once the trust fund runs out, monthly benefits will decrease by about a quarter.

Now, Social Security is sucking money out of the Treasury. This year, it will add a projected $46 billion to the nation’s budget problems, according to projections by system trustees. Replacing cash lost to a one-year payroll tax holiday will require an additional $105 billion. If the payroll tax break is expanded next year, as President Obama has proposed, Social Security will need an extra $267 billion to pay promised benefits.

 

 

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