CBO LTO for Social Security

Under CBO’s ‘Extended Baseline’, i.e. roughly Current Law the 75 year actuarial gap is up to 1.6% from 1.3% and the date of Trust Fund Exhaustion moved back from 2043 to 2039. Under the ‘Alternative Fiscal Scenario’ the corresponding numbers are 2.1% and 2037 or right in line with the Social Security Trustees 2009 projections. Meaning that the NW Plan as currently formulated would handle even CBO’s more pessimistic projection. The sky is not falling and contrary to some people’s calculations the Trust Funds will not go to zero by 2012.

And while the percentage of GDP that will go to Social Security is projected to increase from 4.8% to 6.2% under both alternatives this has to be (or at least morally should be) balanced against the fact that the percentage of people eligible for retirement will grow from 22% to 35%. Unless someone would care to make the argument that older people should ipso facto get a smaller share of productivity per capita in the future than they do now this hardly seems unreasonable.

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