In contrast to rising health care and interests costs, Social Security's growing benefits relative to taxes received represent only a modest part of the nation's major fiscal problems. Nonetheless, Social Security serves as the flagship of social welfare policy, and it places increasing demands on the economy as annual benefits grow, life expectancies increase, and the baby boomers retire. Social Security reform, moreover, has far-reaching implications. Done the right way, it can generate higher national output, personal income, and revenues for Social Security and other purposes-helping the nation achieve budget sustainability and a stronger Social Security system.
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