CBO Sends Social Security Into Overtime

From Holden:

Sorry about the sports metaphor, I’m watching basketball at the moment.

The Congressional Budget Office has a new report pushing the break-even date for Social Security back a couple of years.

The Social Security system will take in more money annually than it pays out in benefits until 2020, two years later than earlier estimated, the Congressional Budget Office reported Monday in a modest change unlikely to alter the growing political debate over the program.

Congress’ budget analysts also estimated the program’s trust funds will be depleted in 2052, “meaning that beneficiaries will be able to count on receiving only 78 percent of their scheduled benefits beginning then.

“After the trust funds are exhausted, Social Security spending cannot exceed annual revenues,” the analysts said. “As a consequence … benefits paid will be 22 percent lower than the scheduled benefits.”

It gets better. Guess who will suffer the most under Bush’s plan?

Red-state widows.

[T]he National Women’s Law Center, issued a state-by-state report estimating that benefit cuts for future retirees would fall particularly hard on widows under an option that administration officials are studying.

“Nationally the typical widow receives a benefit of $865 per month, but under the leading privatization plan, the benefit, including the proceeds of the private account, would be only $476 per month,” the group said in an accompanying statement. “This amount is equal to only 65 percent of the poverty line.”

The organization said the average benefit for widows would be lower in Arkansas and North Dakota, two of the states Bush is scheduled to visit in the days after Wednesday’s State of the Union address.