On March 3, The Times published a story that Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan told Congress it should consider trimming Social Security and other entitlement programs as it searches for ways to reduce the federal budget deficit. ("Greenspan Urges Cut in Social Security Program")
On that same day, Social Security recipients received their checks with the usual informative, little enclosed card. I quote from this card, printed in the name of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration:
"The Social Security program continues to operate on a sound financial basis. Income to the Social Security trust funds is expected to exceed outgo by about $36 billion this year. . . . Social Security is funded through payroll taxes paid by employers, employees and the self-employed, and not from general revenues."
The chart on the card shows the present trust fund balance as $104 billion. It projects the 1990 trust fund balance to be $200 billion, the year 2000 balance to be $1.3 trillion, and the year 2010 trust fund balance to be projected as $4.5 trillion. It further states: "Any reserves not used for benefits or operational expenses are invested in U.S. government securities and earn the prevailing rate of interest."