How can social security have a $2.5 trillion surplus and yet everybody just says that it’s a bunch of IOUs?
Here’s the answer. You paid into social security throughout your entire working life through the payroll tax. And for a long time we collected more payroll tax than we had to pay out in the form of benefits. So we have now accumulated a $2.5 trillion social security surplus. This is what we have now.
But this is what Congress and President Obama fail to tell you. Congress and the Presidents took all of this money out of our retirement fund and spent it on other items in the budget, like needless wars, tax cuts for the rich, oil subsidies to ExxonMobil, Chevron, and others, etc. But the government still owes you that money, as it owes China for all of the money the government borrowed from them.
Now the government would never suggest that we should not pay back China or anyone else that we borrowed money from because that would put in question the full faith and credit of the United States. The financial markets would flip out over that. So they never refer to that money as just a bunch of IOUs.
But when it comes to the money that the government borrowed from YOUR social security surplus that you paid into your whole life, they characterize that as just a bunch of IOUs.
Former Senator Alan Simpson on Obama’s Deficit Commission: “There is no surplus in there, it’s a bunch of IOUs. It’s two and a half trillion bucks of IOUs.”
Since they don’t want to pay you back what they owe you, politicians in Washington are saying that social security is in dire straits! But that’s is totally false! They just don’t want to pay back your social security surplus that they spent on other priorities, like tax breaks for the rich, oil subsidies to ExxonMobil, Chevron, et al, and all the needless wars making defense contractors wealthy.
But it’s not just Republicans who want to rob you of your social security retirement funds. Here’s Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois: “In 2037 social security falls off the cliff. There’s a 22% reduction in the payment of benefits, which is not something we cannot tolerate.”
So social security will pay 100% of your retirement benefits for another 26 years. And if they don’t fix it, it will then pay 78% of your retirement benefits.
How is that falling off a cliff? But that is Dick Durbin, a so-called liberal Democrat, playing the same exact rhetorical tricks as the Republicans! He’s part of the gang of six senators who are coming up with a proposal for deficit reduction, somewhere between Congressman Ryan’s plan and President Obama’s plan, which means that it’s already on massively conservative ground. And as part of that plan they will “reform” social security.
Now if reform means they raise the cap on who pays the payroll tax and of the upper income brackets have to continue paying the social security at higher levels of income, that makes sense because everybody chips in.
But if they raise the retirement age, that means they are coming to rob you.
They don’t want to pay you your full benefits: they will make you work longer, and not pay you the benefits that you would have gotten if you retired at the present retirement age. If they do this, you should be in open revolt!
Don’t let the Republicans and the Democrats do that to you. Don’t let anybody pull the wool over your eyes on that. The social security surplus is real, it’s money that you paid into a trust fund for your retirement, it’s money that you are owed. And under no circumstances should you let these Washington politicians take that from you.