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Social Security Still Going Broke (Again)



April 23, 2012

Last year, Social Security was going broke.  This year, Social Security is still going broke -- again.  The Wall Street Journal highlights items from the Trustees' report that documents the system's continued slide into bankruptcy:

Here is some key data released by the trustees:

1) The Social Security Disability Insurance trust fund will exhaust its reserves in 2016, two years earlier than projected one year ago.
2) The Social Security trust fund that goes mainly to retirees will be exhausted in 2036, two years earlier than projected last year.
3) If the funds are combined, they would be exhausted in 2033, three years earlier than projected last year.
4) In 2011, 44.8 million received benefits from Social Security’s trust fund for retirees, compared with 43.8 million in 2010.
5) In 2011, 48.7 million people were covered by Medicare, up from 47.5 million in 2010. That means the program is covering on net an additional 100,000 Americans every month.
6) The trustees said the worsening picture for the Social Security trust funds was due to “updated economic data and assumptions.”
7) The ratio of workers paying taxes per Social Security beneficiary continued to fall. It will hit 2.8 workers per beneficiary in 2012, down from 3.4 in 2000.

For reference the Journal provides a look back at previous estimates:

The historical data from reports over the past five years is below.

Key:
DI=Social Security Disability Insurance
OASI=Social Security Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (the bigger account mostly used by retirees)
Combined=an estimate of what would happen if DI and OASI were combined into one fund

2011 trustees reports
 DI exhausted 2018
OASI exhausted 2038
Combined exhausted 2036
Medicare HI trust fund 2024

2010 trustees reports
DI exhausted in 2018
OASI exhausted in 2040
Combined OASDI 2037
Medicare HI trust fund 2029

2009 trustees reports
DI exhausted 2020
OASI exhausted 2039
Combined OASDI 2037
Medicare HI trust fund 2017

2008 trustees reports
DI exhausted 2025
OASI exhausted 2042
Combined OASDI exhausted 2041
Medicare HI trust fund 2019

2007 trustees reports
DI exhausted 2026
OASI exhausted 2042
Combined OASDI exhausted 2041
Medicare HI trust fund 2019

Of course, we could just pay the System more interest on all of its IOUs.


 

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