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The combined Social Security trust funds are projected to be fully depleted by 2034 — just 18 years from now.
While proposals to raise the retirement age are intended to improve the financial health of the Social Security program, GAO finds that such changes could produce an opposite result, while also having an adverse impact on some of society’s most vulnerable members.
The poverty rate in 2009 was 14.3 percent, up from 13.2 percent in 2008. This is the highest rate since 1994.
Most notable and controversial among the reforms were movements to raise the minimum retirement age from 60 to 62 by 2018, and the full retirement age from 65 to 67 by 2023.
As a federal program, Social Security cannot be any stronger financially than the overall federal government, and looming financial problems in Social Security will have a negative impact on the Federal budget as a whole.