Apr 22, 2019

Social Security costs projected to surpass income beginning in 2020

Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

The Social Security program's costs are projected to begin exceeding its income in 2020, according to an annual report from the trustees of Social Security and Medicare.

The big picture: The increasing costs of both the retirement and disability programs that fall under Social Security will cause a financial shortfall for the first time since 1982, forcing the program to tap into its nearly $3 trillion trust fund. Evaluated independently, the retirement trust fund will become depleted by 2034, while the disability reserves will run out by 2052.


  • According to the report, the shortfall is the result of retiring baby boomers increasing the number of Social Security beneficiaries at a faster rate than covered workers — who belong to "lower-birth-rate generations" — are entering the workforce.
  • Though disability reserves are expected to be depleted by 2052, that's 20 years later than previously projected, thanks to a continued decline in new disabled-worker applications.
  • The Social Security and Medicare programs' combined cost are expected to jump from 8.7% of GDP in 2019 to 11.6% by 2035. Most of the rising costs are a result of Medicare getting more expensive, the trustees wrote.

The bottom line, per the report: "The Trustees recommend that lawmakers address the projected trust fund shortfalls in a timely way in order to phase in necessary changes gradually and give workers and beneficiaries time to adjust to them. Implementing changes sooner rather than later would allow more generations to share in the needed revenue increases or reductions in scheduled benefits."

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Pentagon watchdog sidelined by Trump resigns

Fine testiying before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Glenn Fine, the Pentagon's principal deputy inspector general, submitted his resignation on Tuesday.

Why it matters: President Trump removed Fine as the Pentagon's acting inspector general in April 7 after a group of independent federal watchdogs selected him to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, which was set up to oversee the rollout of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill.

Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 5,534,728 — Total deaths: 347,587 — Total recoveries — 2,260,945Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 1,667,154 — Total deaths: 98,371 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. 2020: Trump pushes for a polarized pandemic election.
  4. States: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says "I can’t for the life of me understand" Trump’s antagonism toward her state — New York reports lowest number of new coronavirus deaths since March.
  5. Public health: The final data for remdesivir is in and its benefits are rather limited.
  6. Education: A closer look at how colleges can reopenNotre Dame president says science alone "cannot provide the answer" to reopening.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 38 mins ago - Politics & Policy

New York reports lowest number of daily coronavirus deaths since March

The number of daily new coronavirus cases and deaths reported in New York was the lowest since the state started its lockdown in March, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday, calling Memorial Day a "pivot point" for New York.

By the numbers: 73 New Yorkers died from coronavirus in the past 24 hours, and 200 people tested positive. Hospitalizations and intubations also decreased.