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.
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