# Social Security Trust Fund No More?

1. Mar 11, 2005

### Polly

Surely this cannot be true?

(From counterpunch.com)

March 10, 2005

Looted from the Inside Out
Whatever Happened to the Social Security Trust Fund?
By JACKIE CORR

Your president, in his first State of the Union address (February 27, 2001), promised to make sure that no Social Security money was used for any other program. He specifically said: "To make sure the retirement savings of America's seniors are not diverted in any other program, my budget protects all $2.6 trillion of the Social Security surplus for Social Security, and for Social Security alone." Now that is what he said: "for Social Security alone." But it seems like your president left something out. And with that said and done, it seems like the same Bush went on to do something entirely different. No surprise there. What Bush did in his first fours years was he looted the sacred Social Security trust fund. Down to the last nickel and dime. In the Bush-Cheney first term the White House mob gleefully looted the entire$509 billion Social Security surplus. No surprise there again. And, at this very moment, Bush has his fingers in the same trust fund to the tune of \$400 million or so a day.

But you can look at it this way. It is for a good cause.

Somebody has to pay for those tax cuts and the war in Iraq.

And the Social Security trust fund does come in handy in these cases. Furthermore, and to rub it in, the shameless Bush now admits it. This is what he has been saying lately in his Social Security scare speeches. "The money-payroll taxes going into Social Security are spent. They're spent on benefits and they're spent on government programs. There is no trust."

Now that's what he says. "There is no trust."

"Every dime that goes in from payroll taxes is spent. It's spent on retirees, and if there's excess, it's spent on government programs. The only thing that Social Security has is a pile of IOUs from one part of the government to the next."

Those words were spoken just a few days ago. Where's the outrage? Where's Alan Greenspan on this subject.

In other words - why isn't anybody asking what happened to the trust fund that Bush said he would protect way back in 2001?

2. Mar 11, 2005

### kat

uh..............it's been that way for a long time. Many of us were talking about this during the CLinton era..remember? Balanced budget...surplus...my ass.

3. Mar 11, 2005

### loseyourname

Staff Emeritus
According to that link you provided, the trust has been continually looted since 1983, and Bush is right to say that there never was any trust - that it was always just office-to-office IOU's. In fact, the link also states that Social Security will not last nearly as long as the CBO predictions, which would corroborate Bush's "scare speeches" calling for immediate and meaningful reform. To explain his comments in his first state of the union, heck, perhaps he didn't realize the extent of the problem seeing as how he had just taken office and Clinton was claiming all along that there were huge surpluses.

You know, if you're going to post multiple sources, you might want to make sure that they at least agree with each other. I mean, what's a little fact-checking, right? I suppose facts shouldn't get in the way of people hating Bush and blaming all of the world's problems on him.

4. Mar 11, 2005

### BobG

Kat's right. That's been typical government budgeting for a long time.

That doesn't excuse Bush for continuing the same, but his isn't quite as bad as the Clinton term. With the best opportunity to address the "Social Security problem" we had in decades, Clinton not only squandered it away, but engaged in the same accounting tricks the article (accurately) accuses Bush of practicing.

The next administration will probably be just as guilty of the same practices. A good reason for complete separation of retirement accounts from government spending.

5. Mar 11, 2005

### misskitty

That's not only a lot of IOU's, that's a ton of paper. I wonder what kind of filing system they came up with for that.

6. Mar 11, 2005

### misskitty

Both Kat and Bob are right. But, this is politics, what can you expect. It's dirty, you have to be willing to get a little muddy. Bob brings up a good point. The Clinton administration was much worse than the Bush administration. Perhaps part of why people think they can blame all of the world's problems on him is because he did what he said he was going to do: Go into Iraq and overthrown Saddam Hussein. He finished what his father said he was going to do. I think the world is still shocked that he actually suceeded.

7. Mar 11, 2005

### loseyourname

Staff Emeritus
I don't see how the next administration could continue this practice. At least at this point, there no longer is any trust fund or surplus to spend on other items.

8. Mar 11, 2005

### loseyourname

Staff Emeritus
Electronic? This really begs the question, though. Dollar bills are essentially nothing more than government issued IOU's. What's the difference, exactly?

Edit: Actually, I suppose the difference is that the treasury department issues the IOU's in the case of dollar bills. No other office can issue anything legally binding. Their IOU's are just handshake agreements, I guess.

Last edited: Mar 11, 2005
9. Mar 11, 2005

### misskitty

Can you imagine how much money the government would save if they cut out all the unnecessary paperwork and writing all those IOU's?

There is no way of telling whether the next Administration will continue with these practices, but its possible. Then again if they need money that bad then they could always raise taxes :yuck: and send in the Economic Hit Men.

Just pull some of that cash out of those Swiss bank accounts.

10. Mar 11, 2005

### SOS2008

My only guess is that it went to the same place as the outrage over faulty (falsified) intelligence to justify invasion of Iraq, the same place as outrage over paid pundits, and now I also ask where is the outrage about the Bamboozlepalooza tour -
President Bush is on a 60 day, 60 stop tour to push his Social Security privatization scam (some call the tour "Bamboozlepalooza"). This man has so altered the Executive Branch as to make me cringe with horror. Since when does the president go on an advertising campaign like this, and no doubt with my tax dollars?

I have a theory, the outrage is going to the same place where missing socks go...It's the best I can figure. :rofl:

11. Mar 11, 2005

### SOS2008

This was discussed in an earlier thread -- Many presidents were mentioned as trying to address Social Security. It is my understanding that Clinton also tried to address the problem, and suggested that the surpluses be used to shore up SS. As for the separate retirement accounts, definitely refer to the earlier thread...