What federal entitlement program is closest to fiscal collapse?
Social Security? Negative.
In the Wall Street Journal, economist Michael Boskin notes the explosion in the people using it and SSDI’s costs:
The number of people collecting disability benefits has soared, especially in recent years, to almost 11 million in June, up from 2.7 million in 1970. The 2012 price tag was $140 billion, up eightfold, adjusted for inflation, from 1970.
In 2010, SSDI cash transfer payments totaled $124 billion, while the cost of Medicare for SSDI beneﬁciaries was $59 billion. These outlays, exceeding $1,500 for every U.S. household, comprised 7.3 percent of federal non-defense spending last year—a sum that is larger than interest payments on the federal debt. In the last two decades, outlays grew at 5.6 percent in real terms, compared to just 2.2 percent for all other Social Security spending. As a consequence SSDI’s share of total Social Security outlays has risen from one in ten dollars in 1988 to almost one in ﬁve dollars at present. Perhaps most ominously, SSDI expenditures now exceed by 30 percent the payroll tax revenue dedicated to funding the program.