Social Security, like the overall federal government, is totally broke. But most of the presidential candidates don't seem to get this fact.
So, how big is this red ink? I suggest you sit down and take a deep breath. It's $26 trillion, which is far more than a year's gross domestic product and over half of total U.S. wealth.
The current Social Security payroll tax rate (employer plus employee) is 12.4 percent. Paying for legislated benefits through time requires an immediate and permanent rise in this tax rate to 16.4 percent. Delay means an even larger tax hike down the road.