Saturday, November 27, 2010

The shortfall cometh

The New York Times (!) gets it right on Social Security:
No matter how you think of the problem, it's fundamentally the same: The government will not raise enough tax revenue in coming years to make good on the promises it has made. Social Security is facing a much smaller long-term shortfall than Medicare, but it's still facing a shortfall.
As the article reminds us, Social Security starts cashing in treasury bonds in 2015 and these bonds are exhausted in 2037 (or so), leaving behind an automatic 22% benefit cut to all future retirees. But once the SSA starts redeeming money from the Treasury in five short years, the federal government - which must honor the security - needs to find the money somewhere. That can only come from new taxes, spending cuts, or trillions in new borrowing.

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