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Report: Social Security Future Still Bright

August 10, 2010

CONCORD, N.H. - A check-up on the health of Social Security shows the long-range outlook is still sunny, but the recession has affected the short-term prognosis. That's according to the annual report released by the Social Security Board of Trustees. The Trustees project that program costs will exceed tax revenues in 2010 and 2011, but Social Security is still solvent through 2037, which is also what was projected last year.

Eric Kingson, co-chair of the Strengthen Social Security Campaign says the report is actually good news all around.

"Bottom line is: In spite of this deep recession, in spite of all the difficulties we have, there's absolutely no problem about Social Security meeting all its obligations for the next quarter century."

Kingson says the report did show that adjustments will need to be made to the program, but says they should not come in the form of raising the retirement age or making program cuts. He advocates raising tax revenue to support the Social Security program as a whole.

Stephen Gorin, executive director of the New Hampshire chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, says that despite concerns that Social Security is paying out more in benefits than it's taking in with payroll taxes, those payroll taxes are just one source of revenue.

"Social Security really has three sources of revenue: one is the payroll taxes; the second is interest on the trust fund - the Federal government borrows from the trust fund and pays that money back with interest; and then thirdly, Social Security gets revenue from income taxes on people with higher income."

About 240,000 men, women and children in the Granite State rely on Social Security benefits each month.

The report is at www.ssa.gov

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - NH