Stop Raiding Social Security

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Editor:

It’s time the president and the U.S. Congress stop raiding the Social Security Trust Fund and pay what you owe Mr. President. How can you steal this money from our Social Security Trust Fund and ask for our vote? We are the middle class and seniors in this country. Please explain that to me and others who are interested exactly what government does for us.

Here are some facts and explanations about Social Security I took from the Web site of an organization attempting to protect and reform the system: Since the mid 1980s Social Security has been running big surpluses. These surpluses were used to fund the general operations of the federal government. In return, the federal government gave the Social Security Fund special issue, non-negotiable IOUs. These are not the same kind of bonds held by banks, foreign governments, and the public. They are stored in a filing cabinet in Parkersburg, W.Va.

In Fiscal 2009, $137 billion was “borrowed” from Social Security and spent on federal programs. (The old age and survivors program has a $146 billion surplus, but the disability fund ran an $8.5 billion deficit. The trustees knew we would have shortfalls in 2011 and 2012 through 2014. In July 2010, the federal government owed the Social Security Trust Fund and the (old age and survivors and disability fund) more than $2.6 trillion.

The real crisis will start about 2015 or before, when the amount collected in payroll taxes will permanently NOT be enough to pay full Social Security benefits. Instead of real assets on which to draw, the Trust Fund will contain only meaningless IOUs from the government to itself.

If the raid on the Social Security Trust Fund continues unabated until 2015, the amount owed to the Trust Fund will be between $3.1 trillion and $3.5 trillion, depending on the U.S. economy.

Roman Borkovec

Editor’s Note: The Social Security Board of Trustees estimates that without a change in the payroll tax or an increase in the retirement age or a decrease in benefits the Social Security Trust Fund will use up its surplus in 2033. At that point, the payroll tax revenue would provide enough money to pay only 75 percent of promised benefits. Social Security last year paid $725 billion in benefits to 55 million recipients. The $2.7 trillion trust fund is loaned to the government at 4.4 percent interest secured by the “full faith and credit” of the United States.

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