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$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
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
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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)
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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.)
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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".)
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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)
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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)
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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
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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.")
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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))
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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
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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
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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?)
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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)
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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
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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
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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
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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)
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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
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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)
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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
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To: DemEater
This is more about Medicare.

Think you are right, but Part B is only part of the problem. The rest is the skyrocketing cost of healthcare in general. It is hard to judge the eventual cost of benefits when healthcare costs continue to rise rapidly.

Another government example which most here won't argue with is military medical care. The annual DOD budget is around $500 billion, but last year the military spent $87 billion of that on medical care. That is a huge chunk of the DOD budget.

The ugly part will be the solution. I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't want any part of socialized medicine like Canada or the UK. That stuff can kill you.

21 posted on 12/17/2007 1:36:38 PM PST by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: coconutt2000

No, you have that inside out. GWB threw his base to the wolves on immigration. He had plenty of defenders here on FR, me included right up to the point he slipped the amnesty knife in our back.


22 posted on 12/17/2007 1:36:47 PM PST by NonValueAdded (Fred Dalton Thompson for President)
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To: qam1; ItsOurTimeNow; PresbyRev; Fraulein; StoneColdGOP; Clemenza; m18436572; InShanghai; xrp; ...

Xer Ping

Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.

Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.  

23 posted on 12/17/2007 1:38:29 PM PST by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: qam1

What’s the Spanish word for Euthanasia?


24 posted on 12/17/2007 1:42:55 PM PST by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: All

In twenty years you will be lucky if you can get anything
from the govt - including totalitarian health care.

I think people will be more worried about safe drinking
water etc then.


25 posted on 12/17/2007 1:44:34 PM PST by bugs_dallas
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To: NormsRevenge
It is inevitable. The Great Society Ponzi scheme will come to a crashing collapse. Why?

1) It was built on a principles that were suspect at the time.

2) It has been raided and abused over the years.

3) Politicians REFUSE to own up to the problem out of selfish reasons. (See Republican majority under Bush Admin.)

4) Today many states and governors are greatly expanding health care coverage to middle class kids by using Medicaid.

It will likely be in our lifetime that we will witness the great train wreck and there will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth from those who will not be able to participate in the great government/politician vote buying scheme.

26 posted on 12/17/2007 1:44:48 PM PST by Obadiah
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To: NormsRevenge
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.

Translation: Because we are spineless slugs we need someone else to do the heavy lifting!

27 posted on 12/17/2007 2:15:31 PM PST by Voltage
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To: BGHater

Sure we can sell everything, but we have already borrowed all the money on the planet so nobody could buy it unless we loan it back.


28 posted on 12/17/2007 2:20:30 PM PST by RightWhale (Dean Koonz is good, but my favorite authors are Dun and Bradstreet)
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To: Obadiah

Again, it’s Medicare and interest that are the real problems, not Social Security. The “estimates of the present value of future expenditures, in excess of contributions over a 75-yr period” for Social Security is -$6.7 trillion. Not chump change for sure, but for Medicare it’s -$34.1 trillion!


29 posted on 12/17/2007 2:22:20 PM PST by Your Nightmare
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To: NormsRevenge

The budget for the United States of America will be paid out of the Social Security fund for the next four years. The entire budget foreign aid (which we don’t need), our military budget, education, infrastructure and welfare, that’s why we don’t have any Social Security future. That money should have been left untouched in a lock box. Someone before me mentioned the money we were going to give the Palestinians, hell I don’t want to give anybody any money until the needs of all legal American citizens are met. Not Africa, not North Korea, not South America, not Russia, nobody. If America would stop trying to support the world our financial house would be in order.


30 posted on 12/17/2007 2:25:53 PM PST by Plains Drifter (If guns kill people, wouldn't there be a lot of dead people at gun shows?)
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To: Voltage
Translation: Because we are spineless slugs we need someone else to do the heavy lifting!

Are you suggesting the "bi-partisan commission" known as the Congress of the United States isn't up to the task? More delaying tactics from our elected officials.

31 posted on 12/17/2007 2:26:01 PM PST by xroadie
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To: NormsRevenge

75 years from now we may all be either collecting berries and seeds or living in a Matrix reality simulator.


32 posted on 12/17/2007 2:27:22 PM PST by Fitzcarraldo
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To: Obadiah

BTW, Bush’s Medicare drug plan is -$8.3 trillion of those future Medicare expenditures. That’s more than Social Security.


33 posted on 12/17/2007 2:29:42 PM PST by Your Nightmare
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To: NormsRevenge
What amount comes after trillion? (ie, million, then billion, then trillion, then ?????) I guess we need to get that in the lexicon soon.
34 posted on 12/17/2007 2:35:18 PM PST by TheOldSchool
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To: TheOldSchool
Quadrillion, I think.

That's a lot of money!

35 posted on 12/17/2007 2:39:57 PM PST by tlj18 (Mike Huckabee is nonsense on stilts.)
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To: NormsRevenge

bump


36 posted on 12/17/2007 2:40:29 PM PST by VOA
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To: NormsRevenge

The Gummint had best buy some more printing presses.


37 posted on 12/17/2007 2:43:19 PM PST by Fresh Wind (Scrape the bottom, vote for Rodham!)
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To: BGHater

Your post made me laugh!


38 posted on 12/17/2007 2:47:04 PM PST by RinaseaofDs
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To: NormsRevenge
The Left loves to posture in moral superiority against the rest of society when it comes to making sure that some essential activity is “sustainable”. One of the reasons we cannot drill in ANWAR is that such mineral extraction is not “sustainable”. Yet, many of these future budget busters the left protects and champions are not economically sustainable.

Aside from proving yet again that nothing the Left claims is to be taken at face value, the Left itself would not give General Motors or Enron any slack it it should make promises to its employees that it could not keep. Yet, that is exactly what must happen as the country finds itself in a financial bind because of careless and foolish socialist obligations that previous Administrations and Congresses have chiseled into the stone of federal law.

39 posted on 12/17/2007 3:01:21 PM PST by theBuckwheat
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To: Brilliant

The coming bill is “for the children”.


40 posted on 12/17/2007 5:36:12 PM PST by glorgau
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