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Social Security will pay out more this year than it gets in payroll taxes, marking the first time since the program will be in the red since it was overhauled in 1983, according to the annual authoritative report released Thursday by the program's actuary.
"The impact of health care reform is made clear by the Trustees Reports, which show some very positive developments for Social Security and especially Medicare," said Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner. "But they also remind us that we must continue to make progress addressing the financing challenges facing the long-term solvency of these programs."
But the actuary said the programs' finances are still troubled in the near and long terms, and warned that Congress is making things worse by putting off scheduled doctor fee cuts.
In short, they can shut up and get on with it.
This year and next, the program's costs will exceed its take from the payroll tax and income tax on benefits. That's an artifact of the recession, and it's expected to reverse from 2012 through 2014. The difference is covered by the program's other income source — interest on the Treasury bonds in the Social Security trust fund.
That brings us back to this supposed $41-billion "shortfall," which exists only if you decide not to count interest due of about $118 billion.
that might be true, doesn't change the fact... the social security trust fund has enough interest coming from it's investment of treasury bonds to compensate for any shortfall.... it isn't running a deficit, it won't run a deficit unless the gov't doesn't meet it's obligations, and if it does that, well, the social security system is gonna be the least of our worries!