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Poor economy worsens Social Security's finances

By The Associated Press

This article was published April 23, 2012 at 12:56 p.m.

in-this-aug-30-2011-file-photo-labor-secretary-hilda-solis-speaks-at-the-national-press-club-in-washington-an-aging-population-and-an-economy-that-has-been-slow-to-rebound-are-straining-the-long-term-finances-of-social-security-and-medicare-the-governments-two-largest-benefit-programs-those-problems-are-getting-new-attention-monday-as-the-trustees-who-oversee-the-massive-programs-release-their-annual-financial-reports

In this Aug. 30, 2011 file photo, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis speaks at the National Press Club in Washington. An aging population and an economy that has been slow to rebound are straining the long-term finances of Social Security and Medicare, the government's two largest benefit programs. Those problems are getting new attention Monday as the trustees who oversee the massive programs release their annual financial reports.

— The government says a bad economy and higher energy prices have worsened the finances of Social Security, shortening the life of the trust funds that support the program by three years.

The trustees who oversee Social Security say the program's trust funds will now run dry in 2033. Medicare's finances have stabilized but the program's hospital insurance fund is still projected to run out of money in 2024.

If the Social Security and Medicare funds ever become exhausted, both programs would collect only enough money in payroll taxes to pay partial benefits.

The trustees said in their annual report that Congress should address the programs as soon as possible, but no action is likely before the November election.

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GWayne says... April 23, 2012 at 1:28 p.m.

Why don't you take some money out of the government high spenders account!

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aimee says... April 23, 2012 at 4:29 p.m.

Whatever we do, we don't need to put the same Republican "trickle down", protect the wealthy "job creators", and the "don't regulate ME" corporate money changers in office who got us into this mess in the first place..!!!
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We need a SUPER Democratic majority in both houses to implement the President's job creation legislation so that the obstructionist Republicans cannot prevent the country from recovering..!!!

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yellohj says... April 23, 2012 at 5:15 p.m.

The lower payroll tax rate currently in force is a reduction in SS taxes, not income tax. This was designed to help deplete the fund. Otherwise, the reduced tax rate would have been in income taxes, not SS taxes.

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DontDrinkDatKoolAid says... April 23, 2012 at 5:58 p.m.

So true yellohj.
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Aimee ... Obama had "a SUPER Democratic majority in both houses" in his first two years in Office. So if you would/could explain to us of what change for the better do we have for those first two years.

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HalALouyah says... April 23, 2012 at 8:04 p.m.

I have been planning to retire without SS for a long time; YAWN

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HalALouyah says... April 23, 2012 at 8:07 p.m.

Aimee, who is John Galt?

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NoCrossNoCrown says... April 23, 2012 at 9:29 p.m.

4U..............A super majority in the senate is 60 or more

When did the president have 60 votes in the senate????
59 -people trying to do the work of the people.... 41 -obstructionist liars

I guess if you don't have the facts on your side.....
you can just make them up and keep repeating them....

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jjordan says... April 23, 2012 at 9:45 p.m.

Makes me wonder if we had taken the same money we spent on Iraq and applied it toward SS if we still have a major problem or not.

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DontDrinkDatKoolAid says... April 23, 2012 at 10:40 p.m.

59 41 then Obama care would not have pasted would it? It pasted on a 60 40 vote. Sen. Scott Brown ( R-MA) was to late in being elected to office to make a difference.
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So the question still stands; Obama had "a SUPER Democratic majority in both houses" in his first two years in Office. So if you would/could explain to us of what change for the better do we have for those first two years.
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The Governor of Ma appointed Paul G. Kirk until after an special election for Kennedy's seat.
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Scott Brown assumed office February 4, 2010. From Spring to mid term election, both parties were in a Lame Duck Session.

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aimee says... April 24, 2012 at 12:36 a.m.

Tog:
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The Senate fluctuated between 55-58 Democratic senators.... A Super Majority is 60 senators needed to pass cloture on a filibuster so voting my a simple majority (51%) may take place....
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wikipedia. org/wiki/111th_United_States_Congress#Changes_in_membership

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