It was reported over the weekend that SS is now paying out more than it will take in because the recession has taken a heavy toll on revenues and more and more old people have been calling it quits because there are no jobs left in the country and have opted into the program earlier than they would have otherwise.
I found the article biased in my opinion. In the second paragraph the AP appeared to praise the federal government for running a cumulative $2.5 trillion SS surplus over the years. The only problem with that is...all that money was spent. It's not there anymore, just a bunch of IOU's sitting in a vault somewhere. So there is no money. SS is the epitome of failed government programs. The situation is so bad I seriously I doubt our parents who have been paying in the system of 30, 40 years will get more of a fraction of what they paid in back.
The other part I found unrealistic was that it claimed after the next two years of annual deficits, SS will run annual surpluses again until 2016 (down from 2040 as of 2 yrs ago I think). This is looking through a rose-colored lens as government always does, just like the CBO budget deficits that get revised a few trillion up every few months. That 2016 date assumes we get out of recession this year and have a substantial recovery. Of course though, through all of the policies being pursued now by the Obama administration we will be guaranteed to be in an economic black hole for years to come. So I'll predict right now on the record that SS will never run an annual surplus again...EVER.