In Funds We Trust

More

Every time I write anything about Social Security, I get at least one person arguing that everything is fine because after all, the trust fund is not going to run out until 2036 or so.


I want to assume good faith, but I have a hard time believing that anyone takes this argument seriously.  Today, because social security payments exceeded revenue, we're going to either have to raise taxes, or borrow more money, in order to cover the benefits.

How would this be different if we didn't have the trust fund?

Entitlements are a problem because they represent a growing demand on tax revenue.  You can't fix this problem by changing the way you account for the transactions, any more than a corporation could fix runaway inventory expenses by charging them off to the IT department instead.
Jump to comments
Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In