In his interview with Donald Trump on 60 Minutes, CBS reporter Scott Pelley felt the need to assert that Social Security is "a basket case." Actually, according to the latest Social Security trustees report it can pay all scheduled benefits through 2033 with no changes whatsoever. If nothing is ever done to the program it is always projected to be able to pay retirees a larger real benefit than what they get today, or more than 75 percent of scheduled benefits. If we put in place tax increases comparable to those in the 1980s (equal to less than 10 percent of projected wage growth over the next three decades), the program would be fully funded indefinitely.
Given these facts, it would be interesting to know the basis for Pelley's decision to call the program a basket case. Its prospects over the next two decades are almost certainly better than those of his network.