The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that if Congress does not act Social Security will run deficits every year until it eventually runs dry in about 2037. Once its $2.5 trillion surplus hits zero in 2037 the program would collect enough money to repay about 78 percent of benefits.
This year the program is projected to take in $45 billion less in payroll taxes than it pays out, a number that grows to $130 billion when the new one-year cut in payroll taxes is included. Congress has promised to repay the projected $85 billion in lost revenue from the tax cut.
Social Security is currently suffering from a slow economy that has payroll taxes decreasing and applicants for benefits increasing. Over the long term the program will be strained as baby boomers retire in larger numbers.
"Social Security is increasingly adding to our long-term fiscal problem, and it's happening now," said Eugene Steuerle, a former Treasury official who is now a fellow at the Urban Institute.
The more than 54 million Social Security recipients receive retirement, disability or survivor benefits that average $1,076 monthly.
Our question to you today: Do you think the next generation will see a solvent Social Security system?
The Associated Press contributed to this report.