Is the money that I pay out of every check sitting in these trust funds? If so why was there that threat last summer that the SSI checks wouldn't go out?
The annual report is on the Social Security website http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/210 click and download it there. The latest report from the Trustees indicate 2036 to 2040 when SS fund go broke and what happens next is benefits would drop to about 75% of the previous years benefits. Realize this SS is unique retirement income stream of income: tax advantaged, inflation protection, life long income, government guarantee. I agree with Victor on political posturing in regards to threats last summer. Also consider looking at the guides on this site for more on Social Security planning.
Alonso, unfortunately, the Social Security Trust Fund has been raided by Congress and contains IOU's. Benefits are paid from current contributions to the system. The threat last summer was little more than political posturing.