Impending Doom is Three Decades Off

Us News and World Reports joins a host of papers today reporting “impending” doom for the Social Security Trust Fund. Of curse, the economy has taken its toll, but all in all we are OK for three decades out – then the dreaded out-of-funds date has only been moved up two years.

US News says: “The annual hair shirt report of Social Security trustees was released on Tuesday. To no one’s surprise, our national retirement and health benefit programs are headed for perdition even more quickly than they were last year. Due to the recession, the effective bankruptcy date is 2037 for what’s technically called the Old-Age and Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds. That’s four years earlier than the forecast in last year’s report — no mean feat in only one year. Program expenses exceed revenues beginning in 2016 — that’s only seven years away, folks — and all assets are exhausted 21 years later.

And this, sadly, was the good news.

As the trustees said, “Medicare’s financial status is much worse.” It’s hospital insurance component (HI) already pays out more than it takes in, and is busily eating away at its assets as we speak. That tasty meal will be done in only eight years, at which time HI reserves will be zero,nada, zilch. The Medicare Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI ) Trust Fund operates closer to break even, which is good, because it doesn’t have much in the way of assets. The bad news is that the only way it comes close to breaking even is by levying annual increases in rates that are growing faster than the economy and the incomes of the people who rely on the fund to pay for their doctors and prescription drugs.” See article here: