WASHINGTON (AP) — The No. 2 Republican in the House leadership says he opposes a Senate-passed measure to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor told reporters after a two-hour closed-door meeting Tuesday with his GOP lawmakers that he did not support the bill. He said House leaders were looking for "the best path forward" and that no decisions had been made. http://news.yahoo.com/gop-leader-cantor-opposes-senate-cliff-bill-203129679--politics.html
In the United States, the Social Security Trust Fund is a fund operated by the Social Security Administration into which are paid payroll tax contributions from workers and employers under the Social Security system and out of which benefit payments are made to retirees, survivors, and the disabled, and for general administrative expenses. The fund also earns interest. There technically are two component funds, the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Funds, referred to collectively as the OASDI funds.
When program revenues exceed payments (i.e., the program is in surplus) the extra funds are borrowed and used by the government for other purposes, but a legal obligation to program recipients is created to the extent this occurs. These surpluses add to the Trust Fund. At the end of 2011, the Trust Fund contained (or alternatively, was owed) $2.7 trillion, up $69 billion from 2010. The fund is required by law to be invested in non-marketable securities issued and guaranteed by the "full faith and credit" of the federal government.
The trust fund represents a legal obligation to Social Security program recipients and is considered "intra-governmental" debt, a component of the "public" or "national" debt. As of April 2012, the intragovernmental debt was $4.8 trillion of the $15.7 trillion national debt.
According to the Social Security Trustees, who oversee the program and report on its financial condition, program costs are expected to exceed non-interest income from 2011 onward. However, due to interest (earned at a 4.4% rate in 2011) the program will run an overall surplus that adds to the fund through the end of 2021. Under current law, the securities in the fund represent a legal obligation the government must honor when program revenues are no longer sufficient to fully fund benefit payments. However, when the trust fund is used to cover program deficits in a given year, the Trust Fund balance is reduced. By 2033, the fund is expected to be exhausted. Thereafter, payroll taxes are projected to only cover approximately 75% of program obligations.
There is controversy regarding whether the U.S. government will be able to borrow sufficient amounts to honor its obligations fully to recipients or whether program modifications are required. This is a challenge for the Federal government overall, not just the Social Security program.
This is from Wikipedia. But the tread is about the false fiscal cliff, The distractions are not needed.