The $12 Trillion Temptation

Can Congress keep its mitts off the Social Security trust fund?

The idea takes some getting used to at first. Social Security is in trouble again. Only this time the problem is not too little money but too much. Thanks to a series of increases in payroll taxes that began in 1984, the retirement trust fund currently takes in $109 million more each day than it pays out in benefits. Federal officials expect the accumulated surplus to exceed $100 billion by December and, in the next 40 years, to mushroom to $12 trillion. Every penny will be needed to pay for the future retirement of today's 24- to 42-year-olds, the budget-busting baby...

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