The latest report from the Social Security Administration revealed that Social Security funds will be depleted by 2034, and Medicare funds will be depleted by 2026—three years earlier than what was last reported. Last year, Social Security and Medicare funds accounted for 42 percent of federal program expenditures, and as the report noted:
"Both Social Security and Medicare face long-term financing shortfalls under currently scheduled benefits and financing. Lawmakers have a broad continuum of policy options that would close or reduce the long-term financing shortfall of both programs. The Trustees recommend that lawmakers take action sooner rather than later to address these shortfalls so that a broader range of solutions can be considered and more time will be available to phase in changes while giving the public adequate time to prepare. Earlier action will also help elected officials minimize adverse impacts on vulnerable populations, including lower-income workers and people already dependent on program benefits."
While the increased reduction in Social Security and Medicare funds can be blamed on the federal government, it is not the only area where government spending should warrant serious concern. In December 2010, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that federal debt held by the public was more than $9 trillion or 62 percent of GDP.