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“Social Security could face default within two years,” U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus predicted here Tuesday. “The situation is much worse than people realize, especially because of the problems brought on by the recession, near depression.
“That’s not been on the board — people don’t seem to know that,” Bachus, the ranking member of the House Committee on Financial Services, said in a wide-ranging interview with the Tuscaloosa News Editorial Board. “What this recession has done to Social Security is pretty alarming.
“We’ve known for 15 years that we were going to have to make adjustment to Social Security, but we still thought that was seven or eight years down the road,” he said. “But if things don’t improve very quickly, we’re going to be dealing with that problem before we know it.”
The solvency of Social Security, which provides pensions for people over 65, has not played a major role in the current debate over health care in Congress and Bachus, a Vestavia Hills Republican who represents part of Tuscaloosa County, said it will not likely be addressed in any health care bill the House eventually passes, although if a Social Security bail out is needed, it will invariably impact government health care programs.