Four years ago, George W. Bush attempted to reform the entitlement program Social Security, warning that the system was accelerating into collapse and would soon run deficits. Democrats scoffed and claimed the Social Security system was solid and wouldn’t have problems for at least 50 years, as Harry Reid told PBS’ Jim Lehrer in June 2005. Just last year, the CBO — under the direction of Peter Orszag, now budget director in the Obama administration — claimed that the first cash deficits in Social Security would not come until 2019.
Now, however, the CBO has determined that Social Security will run cash deficits next year and in 2011, and by 2016 will be more or less in permanent deficit mode. Hot Air has exclusively obtained the summer 2009 CBO report sent to legislators on Capitol Hill but not yet made public, which shows that outgo will exceed income for the first time since the 1983 fix on an annual basis in 2010…
And it’s actually worse than that.
Check out their update:
Steve at No Runny Eggs, who has been keeping a very close eye on SSA, says that the CBO numbers project some eye-popping payroll-revenue growth numbers to get back to surpluses (briefly) by 2012. According to the numbers, CBO projects a 6.19% growth rate in 2012, and 5.69% in 2013, then dropping to 4.59% in 2014 and declining afterwards. Assuming that they only peak at the 4.59% number for all three years — still a rather optimistic projection — Social Security never actually comes out of its deficits at all…
The numbers are explained in the Hot Air post.
To understand the challenge that entitlement programs pose to a balanced budget, watch this 2-minute video.