The Washington Post's big Sunday piece on Social Security solvency starts from the premise that the program has crossed a dangerous line. Since 2009, the program has paid out more in annual benefits than it is raising each year in taxes, effectively meaning that the program's benefits are relying partly the $2.6 trillion in bonds in the program's "trust funds" to cover checks to senior citizens.
Here's the lead of the report by Lori Montgomery:
Last year, as a debate over the runaway national debt gathered steam in Washington, Social Security passed a treacherous milestone. It went “cash negative.”
For most of its 75-year history, the program had paid its own way through a dedicated stream of payroll taxes, even generating huge surpluses for the past two decades. But in 2010, under the strain of a recession that caused tax revenue to plummet, the cost of benefits outstripped tax col
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