Social Security Debate

Social Security to be debated on Capital Hill

The Social Security debate returns to Capitol Hill this morning with hearings before the Senate Finance Committee.

Democrats have resisted President Bush's proposed changes, arguing, in part, that the problems are far off. But Social Security's top analyst says they're flat wrong. Stephen Goss testified in House hearings yesterday that the U.S. will face a pinch just four years from now. He says that's when excess payroll taxes flowing into the program will start to decline. Congress has been dipping into that money to pay for other programs, leaving IOU's.

After the surplus dries up around 2017, Social Security will start paying out more in benefits that it takes in. Congress will have to start paying back those IOU's and lawmakers will have to choose between budget cuts and tax hikes.