Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

$45 trillion gap seen in US benefits (over next 75 years, estimate from Bush administration)
AP on Yahoo ^ | 12/17/07 | Martin Crutsinger - ap

Posted on 12/17/2007 1:11:03 PM PST by NormsRevenge

WASHINGTON - The government is promising $45 trillion more than it can deliver on Social Security, Medicare and other benefit programs.

That is the gap between the promises the government has made in benefits and the projected revenue stream for these programs over the next 75 years, the Bush administration estimated Monday.

The $45.1 trillion shortfall has increased by nearly $1 trillion in just one year, according to the administration's "Financial Report of the United States Government" for 2006. And, it's up 67.8 percent in just the past four years. In 2003, the shortfall between promised benefits and revenue sources over a 75-year period was put at $26.9 trillion.

The shortfall includes Social Security and Medicare in addition to Railroad Retirement and the Black Lung program.

When the gap in funding social insurance programs is added to other government commitments, the total shortfall as of Sept. 30 represented $53 trillion, up more than $2 trillion in just a year, the report said.

"Our government has made a whole lot of promises in the long-term that it cannot possibly keep," Comptroller General David M. Walker, the head of the Government Accountability Office, said Monday.

Members of Congress said the increase in the unfunded liability for Social Security and Medicare underscored the critical urgency to do something in light of the looming retirement in coming years of 78 million baby boomers.

"The longer we delay action on the issue of entitlement reform, the more difficult the solution will become," said Sen. Judd Gregg, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee.

Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., said the new report emphasized the need to enact legislation he is supporting that would create a bipartisan commission to make recommendations on overhauling benefit programs and then submit those recommendations to an up-or-down vote in Congress.

"If we don't take action now, it threatens to destroy our social safety net and ruin our economic prosperity," Cooper said in a statement.

The new report said that the federal budget deficit would have been 69 percent higher than the $162.8 billion reported two months ago if the government had used the same accounting methods as private companies. Under the accrual method of accounting, the deficit would have totaled $275.5 billion for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.

Under the accrual method of accounting, expenses are recorded when they are incurred rather than when they are paid. That raises the costs for liabilities such as pensions and health insurance. The new report was released by the Treasury Department and the president's Office of Management and Budget.

The $275.5 billion deficit under the accrual method of accounting was still down by 38.7 percent from the deficit under this accounting method the previous year, when it totaled $449.5 billion.

The deficit on a cash-flow basis of $162.8 billion represented the lowest imbalance in five years. The administration noted the decline in the deficit under both measurements.

"The 2.6 trillion in record-breaking revenues that flowed into the Treasury this year reflect a healthy economy," Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said in a statement accompanying the new report.

But officials warned that something must be done to address the significant shortfall in the government's largest benefit programs for Social Security and Medicare.

"Reducing the deficit in the short-term will put us in a better position for dealing with the longer-term entitlement issue, which can only be characterized as an oncoming fiscal train wreck," said OMB Director Jim Nussle.

Congress ordered the government a decade ago to start issuing annual reports using the accrual method of accounting in an effort to show the finances in a way that was comparable with the private sector.

As it has for every report, the GAO, Congress' auditing arm, said it could not sign off on the books because of problems at various agencies, most notably the Defense Department.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: benefits; forecasts; genx; medicare; predictions; socialsecurity; trillion
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-40 next last
Stuff that in your gubamint crack pipe and have a hit, Pelosi and Reid.
1 posted on 12/17/2007 1:11:05 PM PST by NormsRevenge
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

Annual financial report: http://www.fms.treas.gov/fr/index.html


2 posted on 12/17/2007 1:11:22 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed ... ICEs toll-free tip hotline 1-866-DHS-2-ICE ... 9/11 .. Never FoRGeT)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

Sweet! I’m going to keep saving like crazy and bail out of this country before the fiscal collapse. I’m guessing I have about 20 years...maybe.


3 posted on 12/17/2007 1:12:44 PM PST by xrp (Ron Paul: The RIGHT way to vote for freedom.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

I know, lets give the sub human Palestinians our tax money. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pledged $555 million for 2008. That should help all concerned.

Regards


4 posted on 12/17/2007 1:15:49 PM PST by ARE SOLE (Agents Ramos and Campean are in prison at this very moment.. (A "Concerned Citizen".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge
How many Illegals were/were not included in that SWAG estimate?
5 posted on 12/17/2007 1:16:21 PM PST by Zakeet (Be thankful we don't get all the government we pay for)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge; PhiKapMom

GWB had us all mobilized on fixing SocSec and then let it die. If his intent here is to get it fixed and have the necesary blame pinned on him, that is pretty noble. But I doubt very much that anything at all can be accomplished now that all of the House and 1/3 of the Senate is entering campaign mode. No Congresscritter is going to want to explain the pain that is coming. And no way privatizing which is the only hope of fixing it will be allowed to happen. Nope, our grandkids must decide that our quality of life falls below acceptable norms and give us the Terri treatment.


6 posted on 12/17/2007 1:16:24 PM PST by NonValueAdded (Fred Dalton Thompson for President)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge
"If we don't take action now, it threatens to destroy our social safety net and ruin our economic prosperity,"

It is the "social safety net" which is ruining the economy.

7 posted on 12/17/2007 1:16:56 PM PST by BenLurkin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

Democrats, and lobbyists including AARP, rejected the Bush Administration’s attempts to address this issue. Democrats seemed to say Congress can fix this problem like it always has—raise taxes. Democrats were offended that Republicans would dare try to tinker with FDR’s great gift to posterity.


8 posted on 12/17/2007 1:19:56 PM PST by Brad from Tennessee ("A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NonValueAdded
GWB had us all mobilized on fixing SocSec and then let it die.

President Bush didn't let it die. Conservatives threw Bush to the wolves when the MSM started their "illegal immigration" media campaign in order to derail the Social Security issue. The liberals in the MSM played popular conservatism against the President on the immigration issue in order to kill general support for the President's other initiatives - from the WOT to Social Security reform... and it worked.

9 posted on 12/17/2007 1:20:12 PM PST by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

Chump change to the Democrats. Let the rich pay it.


10 posted on 12/17/2007 1:21:27 PM PST by Brilliant
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NonValueAdded

This is more about Medicare. Much of this projected shortfall is his own making due to the drugs for old people program.


11 posted on 12/17/2007 1:23:18 PM PST by DemEater
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

45 Tril, thats nice, we can sell every dam thing in our country and that might cover the balance.

Mountains, lakes, bases, forks, spoons,quakers, Vegas. All of it.


12 posted on 12/17/2007 1:23:50 PM PST by BGHater (If Guns Cause Crime Then Matches Cause Arson?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge
the new report emphasized the need to enact legislation he is supporting that would create a bipartisan commission

Wow, another blue-ribbon, "bi-partisan" commission -- that's sure to work.....

13 posted on 12/17/2007 1:25:40 PM PST by mikrofon (Consensus is NOT Leadership)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

No problem, we’ll just raise taxes...

Or hell better yet, just give your entire check to us, your trustworthy gov’t, and we’ll provide you everything you need so you can continue to not care and watch reality shows.


14 posted on 12/17/2007 1:26:03 PM PST by Slapshot68
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: coconutt2000

I really wasn’t on board with Bush’s plan, but I did like the direction he was taking it.... away from Uncle Sam.

Even if you plopped that money into an online savings account such as HSBC has, etc, you’re be doing better than Social Security.


15 posted on 12/17/2007 1:27:39 PM PST by Slapshot68
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge
Stuff that in your gubamint crack pipe and have a hit, Pelosi and Reid.

And Bush. Prescription Drug Program.

16 posted on 12/17/2007 1:28:48 PM PST by decimon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Zakeet

I haven’t looked at the report link, as you suspect, I’m not sure if they were included,, maybe they are in an intangibles section.


17 posted on 12/17/2007 1:28:53 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed ... ICEs toll-free tip hotline 1-866-DHS-2-ICE ... 9/11 .. Never FoRGeT)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: NonValueAdded

I think Medicare is a bigger issue than Social Security. And I don’t think Bush’s drug plan helped Medicare. Looking at the report it appears Medicare and interest on debt are the biggest increases in future liabilities - with interest being the largest by far.


18 posted on 12/17/2007 1:29:00 PM PST by Your Nightmare
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: decimon

Let’s be fair..

Dept of Edumacation and NCLB ;-)


19 posted on 12/17/2007 1:32:30 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed ... ICEs toll-free tip hotline 1-866-DHS-2-ICE ... 9/11 .. Never FoRGeT)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: ARE SOLE

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iiJF_K2TY_t3bDU8qqlvjhJk63xwD8TJBH2G0I

know, lets give the sub human Palestinians our tax money.

A little hear and, a little there. We the people no longer exist, it’s, we your “government”


20 posted on 12/17/2007 1:33:41 PM PST by buck61
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-40 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson