The government is promising $45 trillion more than it can deliver on Social Security, Medicare and other benefit programs. That is the gap between the promises the government has made in benefits and the projected revenue stream for these programs over the next 75 years, the Bush administration estimated Monday. The $45.1 trillion shortfall has increased by nearly $1 trillion in just one year, according to the administration’s “Financial Report of the United States Government” for 2006. And, it’s up 67.8 percent in just the past four years. In 2003, the shortfall between promised benefits and revenue sources over a 75-year period was put at $26.9 trillion.”Our government has made a whole lot of promises in the long-term that it cannot possibly keep,” Comptroller General David M. Walker, the head of the Government Accountability Office, said Monday.Members of Congress said the increase in the unfunded liability for Social Security and Medicare underscored the critical urgency to do something in light of the looming retirement in coming years of 78 million baby boomers.

Better Start saving now.



  1. Phillep says:

    #28, considering the games being played, the real total is probably twice whatever is the highest number being tossed around.

  2. MikeN says:

    Well yes economic growth makes the ‘required’ ratios lower, since you now have higher wage employees paying for those retiree benefits. You then get the problem when those higher wage employees retire, you now have to pay even higher benefits, especially since the payouts are tied to wage growth. I don’t think 2.75% wage growth is enough, but presumable there is some level that would be enough if it were constant. Even then, you need enough employees to handle the retiree population. If you have a growing number of retirees and a shrinking number of workers, that’s a problem. That’s where they are getting the tens of trillions of shortfall.
    Where’s Mustard to tell us there is no problem?

    One possible fix would be to change the benefit levels to increase with inflation rather than wages. Then the economic growth would solve the problem very easily.

  3. Sea Lawyer says:

    #29

    “Fact: The Bush Tax Loans for the Rich…”

    Well I see right there that you lean towards the view that all income is the property of the government and anything that the government is generous enough to let us take home is to be considered a loan. Great, no point in debating further.

    “SS is in fine shape. Medicare and Medicaid…not so much.”

    You are aware that it is the same government that is on the hook to pay for all of those? When the time comes that SS revenues are less than expenditures, where exactly is the treasury going to get the money to repay all of those bonds again? All at the same time it’s dashing around trying to make up for the Medicare shortfalls too?

  4. Dorksters says:

    We need to outsource the retired people to the third world. Oh joy.

  5. grog says:

    i got about 20 years to go before legal retirement and i don’t expect to collect a dime

    social security is the cheapest, simplest, most effective government program there is — no wonder liberals and conservatives alike can’t leave it alone.

  6. Steve-O says:

    Wow!! I see there is one person in the whole world with their head buried in the sand saying that SS is fine.

    Pretty nice that the one person posts here for all of us to read.

    I’m not sure Mister Mustard would even believe this crap.

  7. Think Tank nutjob says:

    What’s your fucking source for this bullshit? Some right-wing neocon think tank probably…..

  8. MikeN says:

    Angel, legalizing illegals doesn’t solve SS problems. It means more benefits paid to illegals. Although it could be a net plus since having them would lower the overall wage rate, and you would pay out less in benefits. Right now, the illegals who are working with fake papers pay in but don’t cash out, a good deal.

  9. MikeN says:

    And under the President’s plan that was rejected, the shortfall would have been much smaller. Some money to pay the current benefits, then surpluses after that, the exact opposite of the current chart.

  10. Ranger007 says:

    “Who’s winning?” Reid (Senate Majority Leader Harry) asked a group of reporters.. “The American people are losing.”

    The American people are losing and getting it in the rear. The quote might be about the war, but those greedy, ‘for sale to the highest bidder’ politicians who are “getting it while they can” are selling us out. Does anyone think long term anymore?

    Good luck to your kids.

    Never say never.

  11. Gman says:

    This is bunk! Get the FACTS, folks … THEY just want to scare us into supporting yet another ‘privatization’ that will destroy one of America’s favorite examples of the success of social programs that actually help WE the PEOPLE !!

  12. Dorksters says:

    Latest Dorksters’ Theory:

    Politicians should not be allowed to advertise at all, and personal appearance should be structured organized events.

    If they have something to say, they should say it on the news or during the debates. Equal access would be the rule.

    Pull the money completely out of the elections.

  13. tallwookie says:

    Hrm… fund the war or let old people die…. hrm… *ponders*

    decisions, decisions…

  14. Greg Allen says:

    This is why we need amnesty for illegals — to get them in the system, paying social security so the baby bloomers won’t die in abject poverty!

  15. B. Dog says:

    Queen Hillary must decree Gen Z to be worker bees!

  16. Angus says:

    This is the reason that anyone under the age of 40 has no real expectation that Social Security will be there for us at retirement, and we’re contributing to our 401K at the company match. To us, Social Security is just another tax.

  17. RickCain says:

    I guess this is Bush’s poor excuse for spending trillions on a war that doesn’t benefit our retirees, just his military contractor friends.
    The retirement system has been solvent and will be solvent until 2040, at that point and ONLY at that point will they need to cut back on benefits payments, and hopefully by then the GOP will go the way of the WHIG party and some common sense will end up in Washington.

  18. Chris says:

    It’s funny when people talk about investing SS funds in the US Treasury like it’s good for us. The original SS funds are taken from us. Then they are “invested” in Treasury Notes. Then the “government” pays interest on those invested SS dollars. We have to understand that the only money government has is the money they take from us. So in order to pay interest for the SS investments, they take the money from us. So we are taxed twice for SS. If we invested SS dollars in a commercial market we would get actual returns on our money instead of dishing out more tax dollars. The best fix for SS is to get rid of it all together and let the people keep their money, but that makes too much sense.