Sunday, April 23, 2017

When will the Social Security Trust Fund peak?


According to a report by the Congressional Research Service in 2015, the SS trust fund will not peak until 2019.  So, if it hasn't peaked yet, then why are we worried about it running out in about 12 years?  Good question.  A better question is, what will the deficit be when it does run out?

According to the same report, the trust fund will have only a $95 billion balance at the end of 2033, which it will quickly exhaust in 2034. In 2033, the non-interest income is projected to be 2,021.8 billion and the costs are projected to be 2,526.8, for a deficit of 505 billion in 2033.

Quote:  "Projections for years after 2033 are not shown because the Social Security trust funds are projected to be exhausted in 2034 under the intermediate assumptions."

So, we can't project past 2033, which makes it the end of the line according to that report.  Another report says it is 2029.

Ok, we before we start to panic, what will the deficit, excluding social security be, be in 2033, according to intermediate assumptions?  Umm, the latest projection doesn't say the amount in trillions, it just says 6.2% of GDP.  What will GDP be in 2033?  I'm seeing the number $35.5 trillion for nominal GDP in 2033.  So a good guess for the deficit will be $2.2 trillion.  Now add $500 billion to that.  So the deficit will be $2.7 trillion in 2033.

You can panic now.  Or, you can shoot the messenger - not me, the Congressional Budget Office.  Or it you want to get technical, you can wait until 2019 to panic.  But it won't make the problem go away.

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