Sent: Friday, January 21, 2005 12:52 PM
Subject: Does Social Security Really Face an $11 Trillion Deficit?
Bush and Cheney say yes. But actuaries say the figure is "likely to mislead" the public on the system's true financial state.
President Bush and Vice President Cheney have told audiences that Social Security faces an $11 trillion shortfall if nothing is done to fix the current system. But they fail to mention that this is over the course of the "infinite future." Over the next 75 years -- still practically a lifetime -- the shortfall is projected to be $3.7 trillion.
The "infinite" projection is one that the American Academy of Actuaries says is likely to mislead the public into thinking the system "is in far worse financial condition than is actually indicated," and therefore should not be used to explain the long-term outlook.
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