Government Spending

Social Security Chief Says Insolvency Not So Bad

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I'm sure I'm not familiar with every public pronouncement of Social Security administration heads, but I think it isn't that common for them to admit in the public press that Social Security's cash payout promises might not be met in full and in perpetuity, as Michael Astrue did in Esquire this month.

Check out page 16 of the slideshow of "Some Good News from 18 Experts and Big Shots" in which Michael Astrue's good news is: "a word about insolvency: What that means is that in 2037, the current estimate for "insolvency," we could pay only about 75 percent of benefits. So it's not like there's a cliff. And my bet is that in fact it'll be pretty close to 100 percent."

I'm sure that's great news for the American would-be retirees who actually don't trust the government's Social Security promises at all. But for those who actually might be expected to rely on them, in whole or in part, I imagine a 25 percent cut in prospective income might not be such "good news."