Handbasket Report: US ahead of Schedule!

For once, the United States is ahead of schedule on something. Sounds like good news, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, it is not.

Social Security to See Payout Exceed Pay-In This Year

The projections were that this wouldn’t happen “until at least 2016.” If memory serves, a few years back, the projections were 2020, 2035, or even further out.

Of course, Chief actuary Stephen C. Goss said the Social Security fund “could start to grow again if the economy recovers briskly.” This is my favorite line.

My second favorite remark comes from Alan Greenspan. Recalling the three choices the fund had during the late 70s, early 80s–“raise taxes, lower benefits or bail out the program by tapping general revenue”–he said the same three apply today. Then he said, “Even if the trust fund level goes down, there’s no action required, until the level of the trust fund gets to zero. . . . At that point, you have to cut benefits, because benefits have to equal receipts.”

“Benefits have to equal receipts”?

When I read that line, I imagined this stamped across it: Does Not Apply to Banks or Wall Street.



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