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Encore: The Social Security deficit explained

The 2017 Trustees Report says that the Social Security program faces a deficit over the next 75 years equal to 2.83% of taxable payrolls.

That figure means that if payroll taxes were raised immediately by 2.83 percentage points — 1.42 percentage points each for the employee and the employer — the government would be able to pay the current package of benefits for everyone who reaches retirement age through 2091, with a one-year reserve at the end.

Read: Social Security needs more money or benefits will be cut

The figure below puts the 2017 deficit in perspective. In 1983 — the last year for any major legislation — the Trustees projected was a small surplus over the 75-year period (1983-2057).

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