George Will confused on Social Security shortfall projections

››› ››› SIMON MALOY

Washington Post columnist and ABC News analyst George F. Will falsely claimed that that Social Security's outlays will exceed income starting in 2011. In fact, Social Security's outlays are projected to begin exceeding its revenues in 2018, not 2011, according to the 2004 report of the Social Security trustees.

In his March 13 nationally syndicated column, Will wrote: "Republicans of the 'starve the beast' inclination -- those who aim to slow government's activism by reducing government's revenue -- might relish the thought of Social Security's rendezvous with 2011. At that tipping point, the Social Security surplus begins to shrink." While Will was correct to note that the annual surpluses -- the difference between revenues and payouts -- will begin to decline in 2011, he went on to claim falsely that "between 2011 and 2016, Social Security outlays will exceed revenue by $32 billion, and the sums will rapidly increase during the cascading retirements of baby boomers." In fact, according to projections in the Social Security trustees' 2004 report, annual surpluses will increase each year through 2010. Beginning in 2011, the annual surpluses will begin to shrink, but revenues will continue to exceed outlays, albeit by declining margins, until 2018.

Posted In
Economy, Social Security
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