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Author: Jim2B Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 78914  
Subject: Re: A fix for social security and medicare Date: 3/15/2007 11:58 PM
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Projected OASDI tax income will begin to fall short of outlays in 2017, and will be sufficient to finance only 74 percent of scheduled annual benefits in 2040, when the combined OASDI trust fund is projected to be exhausted.

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Some other interesting facts:


Increased spending for Social Security will occur at the same time as increases in Medicare, as a result of the aging of the baby boomers. One projection illustrates the relationship between the two programs:
From 2004 to 2030, the combined spending on Social Security and Medicare is expected to rise from 7% of national income (gross domestic product) to 13%. Two-thirds of the increase occurs in Medicare.

The special series, non-marketable bonds currently held in Social Security Trust Fund are off-balance sheet and are excluded from the U.S. national debt calculation. Unlike traditional bonds, the bonds held in the Fund cannot be sold on the open market. Due to these unique features, some have argued that the bonds held in the trust fund are only "IOUs" that the government has written to itself. The Social Security and Medicare Trustees note:

Since neither the interest paid on the Treasury bonds held in the HI [Hospital Insurance] and OASDI Trust Funds, nor their redemption, provides any net new income to the Treasury, the full amount of the required Treasury payments to these trust funds must be financed by some combination of increased taxation, increased Federal borrowing and debt, or a reduction in other government expenditures. (Status of Social Security and Medicare Programs: A summary of the 2005 annual reports) [16]

This means that these bonds represent a promise to pay the trust fund later, whether by increasing taxes, by cutting benefits, or by borrowing more money. While this is true of all bonds[17], bonds are normally funded by an immediate income from a private source, when the bond is purchased. The bonds placed in the trust fund are placed printed and in the trust, with no external source of money. The Federal government "buys" the bonds from itself.


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