The Social Security Trustees released their annual report today. Even though Bush has appointed people like Andrew Biggs of Cato, a confirmed privatizer and hysterian, to be Deputy Director during a Congressional recess, the current report moves to a somewhat more reasonable and less hysterical position. It is available at
The inimitable and careful Bruce Webb has pointed out to me personally that even though they are still projecting by their intermediate projections program exhaustion in 2041, the consequences and longer run gaps are now reduced. So, the projected 75-year deficit is now to be 1.70 percent of taxable payroll rather than 1.95%, a decline of 0.25% and total actuarial deficit over 75 years is now supposed to be $4.3 trillion rather than $4.7 trillion, down $400 billion. Also, if the system were to go "bankrupt" in 2041, the payments would be cut to 78% of then existing receipts rather than 75% (this number was 71% back when Bush gave his doom scenario in his SOTU speech in 2005 when he made his push to "reform" SS). So, bit by bit, the reality that social security is really not in such bad shape is creeping in.