Chris's Rants

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Trust? There is no trust

Regarding what the President said today (emphasis mine):
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.
Josh has a point:
Second, what the president said today almost certainly violates his oath of office in which he swears to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."

That would be the Constitution which reads (Am.XIV, Section 4): "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned."
According to the President, it's all been a shell game and we the people are the losers.

While it is true that there's no big pile of money just waiting for that day in 2018, or 2020, or 2028, or whenever we hit the crossover point at which the receipts are out-weighed by the payments for Social Security benefits, the Social Security Trust Fund is real, and it does have a pile of U.S. Treasury Notes and that pile grows each year until the supposed crossover point.

So, the President had better watch what he's saying, because the parents holding EE bonds for their kid's college education, the Japanese, and the Chinese, and the Europeans who have been holding U.S. Treasury bonds all these years firm in the belief that the U.S. will redeem them may just be listening. We wouldn't want to leave them with the wrong impression, would we?


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