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Social Security deficits now ‘permanent’

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Stephen Dinan
Washington Times
Saturday, May 14, 2011

Social Security will run a permanent yearly deficit when looking at the program’s tax revenues compared to what it must pay out in benefits, the program’s trustees said Friday in a report that found both the outlook for Social Security and Medicare, the two major federal social safety-net programs, have worsened over the last year.

Medicare’s hospital insurance trust fund is now slated to run out of money in 2024, or five years earlier than last year’s projection, while Social Security’s trust fund will be exhausted by 2036, a year earlier than the prior projection.

The trustees stressed that exhaustion of the trust funds doesn’t mean the programs will stop paying all benefits. Social Security could fund about three-fourths of benefits past 2036, and Medicare could pay 90 percent of benefits past 2024 under current trends.

The figures come as Congress and President Obama are wrestling over whether to make major changes to the entitlement spending, and Republicans said the new projections should force the debate to turn in their direction.

Full story here.

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This article was posted: Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 2:39 am





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