Estimates project Social Security will run out of cash by 2037

Salt Flats

New estimates for Social Security indicate the program will run deficits until 2037, when the trust fund will run as dry as the Bonneville Salt Flats. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

New estimates project that Social Security will run out of cash by 2037. The estimates, from the Congressional Budget Office purport that Social Security will run a deficit until 2037, when the trust fund will be completely depleted. Recent tax cuts already have given advance cash out of Social Security revenue.

Constant deficits projected for Social Security

A new series of projections for the Social Security program by the Congressional Budget Office estimates that Social Security will run a deficit from now until 2037, according to MSNBC. The new projections are a reversal from last year, when the CBO had a far rosier estimation of the health of the Social Security Administration. In 2010, the SSA ran a deficit for the first time since the Reagan administration, but the CBO estimated Social Security would recover from any shortfalls by 2012. Previous estimates had projected a $45 billion shortfall for 2011, but it is now estimated that the shortfall will increase to $130 billion. The CBO also contends that Social Security will continue to post deficits until 2037, when the Social Security Trust Fund is expected to run out, leaving retirees from Alabama to Arizona high and dry.

Rare losses

The Social Security Administration had not run at a loss since the 1980s, though it is the single largest expenditure in the national budget. Budget surpluses of Social Security, which have been constant until recently, were put into the Social Security Trust Fund but have been a frequent source of emergency loans for the U.S. government. This year, the government is expected to run a $1.5 trillion deficit, which is more than a government can take out some personal loans to cover.

Tax cuts a partial culprit

Part of the problem, if the CBO’s estimates prove correct, is that the Bush era tax cuts that were re-extended included a reduction of Social Security payroll taxes. The loss of revenue will only exacerbate the loss, though Congress has pledged to put up the necessary funding to cover the loss.



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