Photo detail

In this Aug. 5, 2010 file photo, Social Security Administration Commissioner Michael J. Astrue participates in a news conference at the Treasury Department in Washington. As millions of baby boomers flood Social Security with applications for benefits, the program's $2.7 trillion surplus is starting to look small. For nearly three decades Social Security produced big surpluses, collecting more in taxes from workers than it paid in benefits to retirees. The surpluses also helped mask the size of the budget deficit being generated by the rest of the federal government. Those days are over. Since 2010, Social Security has been paying out more in benefits than it collects in taxes, adding to the urgency for Congress to address the program's long-term finances. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)


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