After the federal government pays back with interest the $2.9 trillion that it owes to Social Security, what is the estimated average shortfall for everyone currently in the program?
After the federal government pays back with interest the $2.9 trillion that it owes to Social Security, the program's actuaries estimate that it has $38.9 trillion in unfunded obligations. This amounts to an average shortfall of $218,727 for everyone currently in the program, including both taxpayers and beneficiaries. This deficit approximates the method by which publicly traded companies are required by law to report the finances of their pension and retirement plans. Contrary to common myths, SS does not save peoples' money for them, no money has been taken from the program, and SS has received interest on its trust fund that is higher than the rate of inflation and higher than the market rate of federal bonds. Just the opposite, politicians have repeatedly infused more money into SS by raising its payroll tax rate and the amount of wages that are subject to it. Thus, every generation has been forced to pay more real taxes for SS than the preceding one.