Social Security to pay out more than it takes in for first time ever


WASHINGTON – The recession and droves of retiring baby boomers will force Social Security to pay out more than it takes in for this year for the first time ever.

The tipping point has come six years sooner than was projected in 2009, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said Thursday, as he released annual trustees’ reports on the fiscal health of Social Security and Medicare.

Geithner said Medicare’s financal outlook has dramatically improved since the passage of health care reform earlier this year.

Medicare will remain in the black until 2029 under its current structure, mainly because of cost cutting-measures included in the health care legislation, the trustees reported. The program serves 46 million retirees and people with disabilities.

Social Security is projected to pay out more than the $41 billion it is expected to take in this year in payroll taxes, the trustees disclosed.

Some 53 million Americans collect Social Security, which is projected to run out of money by 2037 unless Congress makes benefit cuts or raises revenue sources to put it back in fiscal balance.

Some Republicans questioned the administration’s accounting practices and its claim that health care reform will save Medicare money and extend its solvency.
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