The Meaningless Milestone

In his speech in Detroit, President Bush said, “Thirteen years from now, in 2018, the Social Security system will be paying out more than it takes in.” He continues to use this year as the date the problem begins. However, in 14 of the past 47 years, including 1975 to 1983, Social Security paid out more in benefits than the government collected in payroll, with the gap reaching $10 billion in 1983. So the projected “crossover” point in 2018 is a meaningless milestone.