Next Bailout: Social Security

Posted: Feb 04, 2010 1:23 PM

A report out from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) shows that for the first time in 25 years, Social Security is now taking in less in taxes than it's spending on benefits. 

From CNN Money:

Instead of helping to finance the rest of the government, as it has done for decades, our nation's biggest social program needs help from the Treasury to keep benefit checks from bouncing -- in other words, a taxpayer bailout.

No one has officially announced that Social Security will be cash-negative this year. But you can figure it out for yourself, as I did, by comparing two numbers in the recent federal budget update that the nonpartisan CBO issued last week.

The first number is $120 billion, the interest that Social Security will earn on its trust fund in fiscal 2010 (see page 74 of the CBO report). The second is $92 billion, the overall Social Security surplus for fiscal 2010 (see page 116).

This means that without the interest income, Social Security will be $28 billion in the hole this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

Bend over, America!  Here comes another bailout.