Frays in that Social Security Blanket…

Chip Somodevilla  Getty Images North America

Chip Somodevilla Getty Images North America

While costs have exceeded net income since 2010, this is the first time in more than three decades that spending is expected to outweigh total income, by about $2 billion, meaning asset reserves will decline.

Here's the problem. There are no such "trust funds".

This would leave the fund depleted by 2034, matching last year's forecast.

In a companion report, federal officials said the Social Security Trust Funds for old-age benefits and disability insurance, taken together, could be depleted in 2034, the same year projected in last year's report. After that, the government predicts it will be able to pay 91 percent of promised benefits.

Each year, the trustees of Medicare and Social Security release their annual reports on the financial health of their programs.

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Sixty-two million people, including 45 million retired workers, were receiving OASDI benefits at the end of 2017.

In 2017, Medicare covered 58.4 million people, with 49.5 million older than 65. In simple economic terms, the government must balance the equation by either giving the programs more money (raising taxes) or cutting costs (reducing benefits), both moves that in his campaign candidate Trump said he would never do. The four top officials serve as the Social Security and Medicare trustees, along with two independent trustees who are supposed to represent the public. Democrats insist that the programs would remain solvent as long as the rich pay their "fair share", while Republicans claim that they simply need to eliminate "waste, fraud, and abuse" in the federal budget. The U.S.is now closer to the insolvency of the Social Security than to the attacks of September 11.

Medicare Part B, and D will remain adequately funded "into the indefinite future", the trustees reported, because law provides financing from general revenues and beneficiary premiums each year to meet the next year's expected costs.

Both the cost-of-living increase and the Medicare outpatient premium are not officially determined until later in the year, and the initial projections can change. America's long-term finances, however, are not in such good shape, as another federal report, this one out Tuesday from the trustees who oversee Social Security and Medicare, reminds us.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement that there's time to fix the problems.

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