Amid all the rhetoric about the Social Security program’s finances, here is a nice simple explanation and graphs from the New York Times showing where we are and how we got there:

Social Security is a pay-as-you-go program financed by payroll taxes on workers and employers. When its revenues fall short of the benefits it owes in a given year, it covers payments by drawing on a $2.6 trillion fund that is accounted for separately from the federal budget and invested in government bonds. It is estimated that unless changes are made to the system, the fund will be able to pay full benefits until the surplus is exhausted in 2036, and about three quarters of benefits after that….”
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