Social Security to Take In Less Than It Pays Out in 2010
Payouts exceeding revenue 6 years ahead of predictions
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2010 5:33 AM CDT
Former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee last year.   (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – The recession has battered Social Security, too: The program will pay out more in benefits than it receives in payroll taxes this year, says the Congressional Budget Office. The system hadn't been expected to reach its "tipping point" until 2016. The change will have no effect on benefits, but analysts warn that insolvency looms unless Congress beefs up Social Security's finances.

The program still has $2.5 trillion in accumulated revenue but this will shrink to nothing by 2037 unless changes are made, Alan Greenspan tells the New York Times. The former Fed chairman, architect of a plan to save Social Security in the early '80s, says the choices now are the same as they were then: raising payroll taxes, cutting benefits, or bailing the program out with general revenue.