Sunday, December 30, 2007

(Near) Year End Balances 2007

(Actual balances are in and I will need to edit this post. Short version OAS ended up at $2.024 trillion or $3.3 billion behind Intermediate Cost projections. DI came in at $215 billion or about $6 billion ahead of IC projections (but unchanged for the month). Combined OASDI came in at $2.239 trillion beating IC projections but slightly lagging Low Cost. Most interesting note? 2007 Real GDP came in at 2.2% against a projected 2.6% yet receipts overall managed to come out ahead. This is the third year in a row that Real GDP came in at or below expectations and yet receipts held up.)

Well it's near the end of the year but the Bureau of Public Debt reports with a lag time of a month. So these are the totals as of Nov. 30th.

From the Bureau of Public Debt Nov. 30 Report

OAS Old Age Survivors:$2,014,006,866,559.62
DI Disability $215,535,461,216.24

Total: $2,229.5 billion

Low Cost projection for OAS: $2,030.5 billion
Low Cost projection for DI: $210.8 billion
Total Low Cost projection for OASDI: $2,241.3 billion

Intermediate Cost projection for OAS : $2.027.7 billion
Intermediate Cost projection for DI: $208.9 billion
Intermediate Cost projection for OASDI: $2236.6 billion

Well in a couple of places I posted that back of the envelope calculations showed that OASDI surpassed year end projections about week two of November. Didn't seem to happen. On the other hand the change from October to November was plus $10 billion for OAS and almost $1 billion for DI so we are looking at a total projection of about $2,240.3 billion by years end, which is to say comfortably above Intermediate Cost and slightly below Low Cost. Which btw is in line with reported GDP and productivity numbers. I am still in the comfort zone.

Update: Well the December job numbers were pretty lousy, then again most of those paychecks wouldn't come until January anyway so shouldn't impact December receipts. 2008 is not shaping up well at all on the Social Security front. On the other hand it is kind of hard to sell private accounts when the country is in a recession. Which of course is the overall point of this whole blog, Social Security solvency tracks the economy much as the stock market does. There just is not enough margin to exploit to give materially better outcomes for private accounts.


rdan said...

I will visit more often. There is plenty to think on. Comments will be interesting. :)

rdan said...

It would be a lot more informative to see two more lines on this graph, one showing the ratio of debt held by the public to GDP and the other showing the ratio of intra-governmental debt as well as the displayed combined number.
from AB comment

Do you have a graph?

Bruce Webb said...

I don't have a graph but it would not be hard to create one with any interval you like. Treasury has a pretty cool web application that will give you the breakdown between the two for any day from Sept 30, 1997 to yesterday. It's called Debt to the Penny and is updated daily. Just on a lark I stuck in Sept 30, 1997 and found public debt at $3,789,667,546,849.60 with intragovernmental debt at $1,623,478,464,547.74 for a total of $5,413,146,011,397.34. Which is to say that public debt has increased over that 11 year period by about 33% while intragovernmental debt went up by 250%. Given current projections we should experience a crossing point sometime in the next decade with intragovernmental debt lapping debt held by the public and in the process making the combined debt figure more and more meaningless for monetary policy.