This year Social Security will pay out $45 billion more in benefits than it collects in taxes. And this is not the first year Social Security has had an operating deficit. Last year, Social Security paid out $37 billion more in benefits than it collected in taxes. And this year is far from the last that Social Security will run an operating deficit.

Looking forward, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that Social Security will run a more than $600 billion operating deficit over the next ten years. Every year between now and 2021 will see Social Security deficits of between $28 billion and about $120 billion. Unless spending is cut elsewhere, every cent of this $600 billion will have to be paid for through either higher taxes or more debt.

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