Social Security Marks First Deficit in Decades

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Social Security is going to start paying out more in benefits this year than it's collecting in taxes -- close to $29 billion more.

It will be Social Security's first deficit since it was over-hauled under former President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. Since then, the program has been taking in more money than it has been spending.

The problem is that the government has not been saving that extra money, it has been spending it.

"This is not just a wake-up call, this is it. We're here," said Mary Johnson, a policy analyst with the Senior Citizens League, an advocacy group. "We are not going to be able to put it off any more."

Now Washington will have to start borrowing money, much of it from foreign governments, to pay for the Social Security program for its senior citizens.

The government is expected to post a record $1.5 trillion budget deficit this year, with trillion dollar deficits to follow in the years to come.

The deficit begins just as baby boomers start retiring and some are worried it will lead to reduced benefits. Experts say that Social Security is projected to drain its trust funds by 2037 unless Congress formulates a plan of action.

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