That's one way of looking at it. Unfortunately, the 2.5 trillion is gone. Borrowed by the federal government. Undoubtedly SS would have worked much longer had the coffers not been raided but now it will drag on the country. It basically turned into a giant piggy bank that Washington had to get its hands on. So now what. It whether the money is being paid back by the government or the shortfall in revenues is covered by the government is semantics. There's a 2.5 trillion dollar paper surplus but the only way to get that money is to take it from taxes that were not meant for SS. You can't look at SS as it's own program to determine its solvency. At this point, it's a government program that loses money and that's what's important.