The sensible way to save Social Security

Social Security is now in the red, spending more than it takes in, for the first time since 1982. That’s three years earlier than projected just last year.

And it’ll continue to bleed funds for the foreseeable future, the Social Security and Medicare trustees said Tuesday.

The program can still make full payments until 2034 since Uncle Sam owes it nearly $3 trillion — the feds having used past Social Security surpluses to fund other spending.

But once that “reserve” vanishes, it’s a haircut to every Social Security check.

Meanwhile, Medicare’s own reserves are now expected to run out by 2026, three years earlier than the last trustee projection.

Behind the shortfalls: aging baby-boomers swelling the ranks of beneficiaries and slower economic growth, the trustees note.

Plus, of course, longer lifespans: Back when Social Security began, most people died before 65. And falling birth rates also mean we’ll soon have just two workers for each retiree.

Meanwhile, Medicare must pay for ever more health care, as science yields new life-extending and -improving treatments.

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