Thursday, August 13, 2009

AP: Social Security facing “mountain of debt”

Tom Raum writes for the Associated Press on financial troubles facing Social Security:

As Congress agonizes over health care, an even more daunting and dangerous challenge is bearing down: how to shore up Social Security to keep it from burying the nation ever deeper in debt.

What to do about mushrooming government payments as millions of baby boomers retire? How about a giant federal Ponzi scheme? That might work for a while.

But wait. That's pretty much the current system. Social Security takes contributions from today's workers and uses them to pay the old-age benefits that were promised to retirees. But there are serious concerns how long that can last.

President Barack Obama has said he'll tackle Social Security and related "entitlement" programs when the health care overhaul is resolved. But the anger and intensity of that debate could complicate his effort.

Failure on health care could make it harder, if not impossible, for Obama to successfully tackle overhauling Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

One thought occurred to me in reading the first line: Hey, isn't Medicare a bigger problem than Social Security? Indeed it is. But since the current health reform debate – which originated in rising costs of Medicare and Medicaid – will do next to nothing to restore those programs to solvency.

Click here to read the whole article.


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Bruce Webb said...

Dean weighed in on the AP report on MTP today. As you can imagine he was not much amused.

Bruce Webb said...


Andrew G. Biggs said...

Here's the link to Dean Baker's post ( While I don't always agree with Dean, he clearly has some good points here.