Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
Concept_Entitlements_Retirement

Social Security and Medicare Continue Steadily Down the Road to Insolvency

Jul 13, 2017 | Social Security

For Immediate Release

The Social Security and Medicare Trustees released their annual reports today showing that both programs continue steadily down the road to insolvency.
 
According to the Trustees, the Medicare Hospital Insurance trust fund will be depleted by 2029; the Social Security Disability Insurance trust fund by 2028; and Social Security’s Old-Age trust fund by 2035. On a combined basis, the Social Security trust funds will be exhausted by 2034. Over the next 75 years, the Trustees project Medicare Part A faces a shortfall of 0.64 percent of taxable payroll, Social Security faces a shortfall of 2.83 percent of taxable payroll ($12.5 trillion on a present-value basis), and Medicare Parts B and D will continue to grow precipitously.
 
The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, the president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:

Today’s report shows that lawmakers can no longer afford to keep their heads in the sand when it comes to the $12.5 trillion shortfall facing Social Security or the rapid growth of Medicare.
 
Social Security insolvency is no longer a problem only for future generations — without action current workers and even current retirees will face a 23 percent across the board cut in just 17 years. That is when today’s 50-year-olds reach the normal retirement age and today’s youngest retirees turn 79.
 
Social Security and Medicare are both on borrowed time, and each day that passes without action makes the problem worse and the choices more severe.
 
Social Security and Medicare are two of the most popular programs in American history, which is why President Trump vowed not to touch them — but his logic is backwards. Without thoughtful reforms today, we will not be able to pay promised benefits tomorrow. Much better to be the President who helped save these programs than the one who allowed their insolvency.
 
If Congress cannot begin action immediately to implement policies that set these programs on a path to solvency, then it is time to turn the task over to a bipartisan commission. The stakes are too high and time is running out to continue to punt on an issue that will affect every family in America.

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For more information contact Patrick Newton, Press Secretary, at newton@crfb.org.