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Real News From The Blaze': Social Security 'Drop Dead' Date Looms

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Social Security is dangerously close to insolvency. Who's saying this now? Not only Rep. Paul Ryan, conservative commentators and right-wing think-tanks, but the program's trustees.

The Social Security Trust Fund (SSTF) sent out their 242-page 2012 report to Congress yesterday revealing that thanks to retiring baby boomers, a weak economy and weaker political backbone to address needed policy reforms, the trust funds that support Social Security will run dry by 2033; three years earlier than previously projected. Some analysts predict that the SSTF will be exhausted as early as 2026.

"Real News" opened Tuesday night discussing just how serious this problem is and if anything can, or should, be done to save Social Security. Veronique de Rugy, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, joined the panel to discuss the upcoming "Social Security D-Day."

De Rugy speculated that at the pace we are on now, the Social Security "drop dead" date will continue to creep up faster, especially when there isn't a bipartisan effort on Capitol Hill to fix the problem.

"It's a system that's not sustainable in the long run no matter how much taxes you're going to collect," de Rugy commented on the fund. "Even if you were to raise the cap, you could only collect an additional amount of taxes that will cover just a small share of the promise benefits.

"Politicians have made too many promises."

De Rugy believes it's unlikely that the problem will come to the point where the fund is empty, but legislators will eventually be unable to ignore the situation, and react with a dramatic reduction of benefits. From there, the government could continue the benefit reductions or reform the system entirely. De Rugy commented that if changes are not made now, even those who have paid into the system will still see a dramatic reduction of benefits because the money is just not there.

"People have paid into the system, but that doesn't matter, even legally," said de Rugy.

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