When Federal finances are in a jam, unexpected economic growth usually helps. A surge in the economy increases wages and, therefore, tax revenue. This unanticipated revenue creates surpluses in most areas of the federal budget - where previously there may have been deficits. However, Social Security is unable to take advantage of economic growth in the same way as other programs. As a result, policymakers recently lost an opportunity to leverage the robust economy against the program's mounting liabilities.