Social Security to Operate in the Red for the Next 10+ Years: CBO

January 26, 2011 Updated: January 26, 2011

[xtypo_dropcap]S[/xtypo_dropcap]ocial Security will run yearly deficits for the very near future, until at least 2021, if present Social Security spending is maintained, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said on Wednesday.

In its Budget and Economic Outlook report for fiscal years 2011 to 2021, the CBO anticipates that the Social Security program will run a $45 billion deficit for 2011, and will be in the red for at least the next ten years.

The total projected deficit for Social Security—the mammoth entitlement program that doles out retirement and disability funds—between 2012 and 2021 is an estimated $547 billion, the CBO said.

In its calculations, the CBO noted that the deficits don’t include interest earned on the Social Security trust fund.

According to the Associated Press, if present Social Security spending and funding levels are sustained and adjusted for the coming influx of Baby Boomers applying for and collecting Social Security checks, the program’s trust fund could be emptied by about 2037.

However, two recent polls have shown that cuts to Social Security are extremely unpopular, presenting a thorny issue to lawmakers over how to reign in the strained program’s finances.

In the same report, the CBO also foresees a national debt of $1.5 trillion for 2011, an amount that is 9.8 percent of the United States’ GDP.