Congress just recently passed the “Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012,” which extends last year’s reduction in FICA tax from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent. It also extends jobless benefits for the rest of 2012. Meanwhile, the President’s budget projects that Social Security will now be bankrupt in 2022, rather than 2036 as was reported last year.

It seems like the bill should actually be called the “Let’s Hope Americans Aren’t Paying Enough Attention to Realize That We Stole Money From Social Security To Buy Votes And Get Relected Act.”

They are destroying a program that is vital to our country in order to put a little money into Americans’ pockets to get votes in November. How will we repair this dramatic shortfall? How soon will Social Security go bankrupt if our economy suffers a downturn?

Bankruptcy isn’t a quarter century away anymore; now it’s only a decade away. This means that people who are already on the program will have to deal with the bankruptcy of Social Security.

The answer used to be disclosed in the annual Social Security statement, but those were discontinued in 2009. They promised it would be available on the website at www.ssa.gov, but the website says they cannot afford to provide that information.

So, what happens when Social Security goes bankrupt? Get a copy of the 2009 annual statement and read the front. When the trust fund is exhausted, revenue will only be available from current FICA payroll taxes. According to Social Security, that will only provide around 75 percent of the benefit. Social Security really becomes a pay-as-you-go program.

Can we afford to lose 25 percent of our income? How can we plan to replace that income? Do we really believe that seniors, the biggest voting block in America, will allow this to happen? Isn’t it more likely that seniors will force legislation to fund the shortfall with general revenues?

Will this create additional problems? Will that lead to higher taxes, lower benefits, inflation and increased volatility? Will those things diminish the value of our Social Security? Do we have strategies in place to offset the damage it will cause?

It will impact young and old alike. It will have consequences for every American.