That's a thirteen with twelve zeros behind it.
Social Security in $13.6 trillion hole
Social Security is rolling toward a $13.6 trillion shortfall, and the best solutions to close the deficit are higher taxes or reduced benefits, according to a paper from the Department of Treasury.
Projections in the report show that the Social Security trust fund balance will hit its peak in 2009 at a level of $99 billion and then cash flows will become negative after 2017. If no program changes are made, then all beneficiaries will have their benefits cut back by 25% in 2041.
However, a payroll tax hike of 3.5%, which would affect all current and future workers, would help close Social Security’s permanent financing gap. This tax increase would have to go up to 5.8% if it’s delayed until 2041.
Additionally, all retirees’ benefits would have to be cut by 20.4% in 2007 in order to keep Social Security permanently solvent.
Word to the wise: See the quote to the upper right by Curtis Carlson. Emphasis on "save as much as you can."