From the nonsensical opinion piece from a Reuters reporter that you linked to...
"Please, please remember that exhaustion is an actuarial term of art and it does not mean there will be no money left to pay any benefits" he warned in issuing the trustees' annual report on the financial health of the Social Security program.
"After 2033, even if Congress does nothing, there will still be sufficient assets (from payroll taxes) to pay about 75 percent of benefits. That's not acceptable, but it's still a fact that there will still be substantial assets there," Astrue insisted.
This year's report shows some acceleration of the drawdown of Social Security's vast trust fund reserves. Absent Congressional action, the trust funds of the retirement and disability programs are expected to be exhausted in 2033 as baby-boomer retirements accelerate - three years sooner than projected a year ago.
But Astrue went out of his way to emphasize that the program is far from broke. Social Security took in $69 billion more than it spent last year, according to the report, when you include tax receipts and interest on bonds held in the Social Security Trust Fund (SSTF). The SSTF had reserves of $2.7 trillion last year.
On its current course, by 2033, Social Security benefits will have to be cut by 25% or the Social Security tax will have to be increased by 33% or some equivalent combination of benefit cuts and tax increases will have to be implemented.
To those who don't already have about half their income stolen by gov't, that may not sound so daunting. But, the problem is that Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and ObamaCare benefits are on course to consume 100% of Federal revenue by 2049...
Irrespective of tax rates or tax structure, the Federal gov't has never been able to steal more than 18% of the economy on a sustained basis. There is no way to tax Social Security back into solvency. The only way to prevent it from going broke is to convert it into a defined contribution plan and privatize it.
I'd rather have my next 15-20 years of social insurance "premiums" deposited into my 401k, rather than gamble on the current system delivering even a fraction of my previous 30+ years of "contributions," much less any return on that "investment"... Particularly if I could get the employer portion too.