THE STRONG ECONOMY IS GIVING Social Security more breathing room. On Apr. 28, the national retirement system's trustees said that the fund would remain in the black until 2032--three years later than the actuaries' previous predictions. President Clinton, who cautioned that he still wants budget surpluses applied to a Social Security fix, hailed the report. The news wasn't as well-received over at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank. Hours before the figures were unveiled, Cato had issued a release that predicted: "It is likely that this report will indicate that Social Security is going broke more quickly." A red-faced flack at the think tank says the forecast was based on a rumor--one thing from which Washington never suffers a deficit.

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