Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Yes, he just stole over $1.5 trillion.

Josh Marshall has the scoop on the suddenly non-existent Social Security trust fund
over here. As you can see if you follow the link from his article, we have Commander Chimpy:

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.

In short, as Josh explains so well, Chimpy has just caused over $1.5 trillion in SS trust fund to disappear into thin air. But is there really no trust fund? The Social Security Administration would undoubtedly be surprised to hear that since, at their official government website, you can read:

Q: Is there really a Social Security trust fund?

A: Yes. Presently, Social Security collects more in taxes than it pays in benefits. The excess is borrowed by the U.S. Treasury, which in turn issues special-issue Treasury bonds to Social Security. These bonds totaled $1.5 trillion at the beginning of 2004, and Social Security receives more than $80 billion annually in interest from them. However, Social Security is still basically a "pay-as-you-go" system as the $1.5 trillion is a small percent of benefit obligations.

Oopsie. I think li'l Scottie McClellan is going to have some splainin' to do at that next press gaggle, now that "Jeff Gannon" isn't there to run interference for him anymore.

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