Until sometime last month, one of the biggest financial nightmares a few people out there worried about was the unfunded liability of the social security system. Actuary math is... well.... actuary math.. which means it gets too esoteric to talk about pretty quickly. But the best number I see is that for over the next 75 years the social security system was under funded by something just under $4 trillion dollars. A big number for sure, but in the course of a few weeks there has come from nowhere a near unanimous agreement that we should spend how much? $700 billion on the overall financial system bailout, which would be on top of the hundreds of billions that has been spent on AIG, Lehman, Bear Sterns, and an less-discussed, but larger
, amount in the hundreds of $ billions that the Fed has been mass injecting into the world financial system. Whatever that adds up to, it has to be a decent chunk of the entire unfunded liability of the Social Security system now and through all of our lifetimes.. even that of many of our children's lifetimes. Given that the $4 trillion number is something that has to be dealt with over the the bulk of the next century
, the rate at which funding the system would require must come out to a expenditure rate many many orders of magnitude slower than the rate at which the US Treasury has been emptying out of late.
So if we survive all of this, managing Social Security must be a piece of cake... or at the very least a hell of a lot less scary than we thought it was before.