Thursday, February 10, 2005

Do you want a President who is Truthful?

Some in our country think that Social Security is a trust fund -- in other words, there's a pile of money being accumulated. That's just simply not true. The money -- payroll taxes going into the Social Security are spent. They're spent on benefits and they're spent on government programs. There is no trust. We're on the ultimate pay-as-you-go system -- what goes in comes out. And so, starting in 2018, what's going in -- what's coming out is greater than what's going in. It says we've got a problem. And we'd better start dealing with it now. The longer we wait, the harder it is to fix the problem.
- President George W. Bush, February 9, 2005
Is this the truth? Is there really no Social Security Trust Fund as the President suggests?

If you've been paying attention here, you know that this is not true. There is a social security trust fund. It's invested in United States Treasuries, considered by many to be an extremely safe investment. Consider this statement by Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan (lifted from Talking Points Memo).
The National Commission believes that the investment procedures followed by the trust funds in the past generally have been proper and appropriate. The monies available have generally been invested appropriately in Government obligations at interest rates which are equitable to both the trust funds and the General Fund of the Treasury and have not -- as is sometimes alleged -- been spent for other purposes outside of the Social Security program.

Of course when Greenspan wrote that he, and Ronald Reagan, were trying to talk American Workers into paying higher payroll taxes so that they could have some money set aside to save Social Security. Now President Bush is telling Americas workers that the United States Government has, in effect, pissed away the money by investing it in United States Treasuries.

Why does President Bush want to feed this deception? Well because the money to pay those Treasuries has to come from somewhere. If the Government were functioning in a sane way, that would be no problem--you simple budget to pay that money back. But President Bush's enormous tax cuts have bottomed out the budget, and it would be really nice (from President Bush's perspective) if they didn't have to pay that money back. So he'll talk as if the trust fund doesn't exist and he'll hope nobody catches on.

Which, of course, takes us back to the title of this post.

No comments: