The Washington Post, justifying their claim that Social Security is “going broke,” writes:
Is “going broke” too strong? Well, let’s ask the experts — the trustees of the Social Security Trust Fund, who include President Obama’s Treasury, labor, and health and human services secretaries. In their annual report in April — delivered, as it happens, to Mr. Biden, in his capacity as Senate president — the trustees noted that the disability portion of the trust fund “becomes exhausted in 2016, so legislative action is needed as soon as possible.” The overall fund, combining retirement and disability, will “become exhausted and unable to pay scheduled benefits in full on a timely basis in 2033.”
It’s a shame the Post didn’t actually listen to the experts. From Reuters, back in April:
It’s rare to see a federal official publicly beg reporters to get a story right, but the commissioner of the Social Security Administration seemed ready to get down on his hands and knees at a Monday press briefing. Michael Astrue was cautioning journalists not to scare the public about the meaning of the word “exhaustion.”
“Please, please remember that exhaustion is an actuarial term of art and it does not mean there will be no money left to pay any benefits” he warned in issuing the trustees’ annual report on the financial health of the Social Security program.
“After 2033, even if Congress does nothing, there will still be sufficient assets (from payroll taxes) to pay about 75 percent of benefits. That’s not acceptable, but it’s still a fact that there will still be substantial assets there,” Astrue insisted.
Good job, Washington Post.
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