Facts That Need To Be Remembered – Social Security Is Fiscally Sound, Do You Hear That Media??!!

From Jacob Lew of the OMB, via USA Today… (emphasis mine)

The budget put forward by President Obama last week is a blueprint for how we can live within our means and win the future. As this begins the budgeting process in Washington, we need to be clear about the causes of the pressing fiscal problems we face. Specifically, looking to the next two decades, Social Security does not cause our deficits.

Social Security benefits are entirely self-financing. They are paid for with payroll taxes collected from workers and their employers throughout their careers. These taxes are placed in a trust fund dedicated to paying benefits owed to current and future beneficiaries.

When more taxes are collected than are needed to pay benefits, funds are converted to Treasury bonds — backed with the full faith and credit of the U.S. government — and are held in reserve for when revenue collected is not enough to pay the benefits due. We have just as much obligation to pay back those bonds with interest as we do to any other bondholders. The trust fund is the backbone of an important compact: that a lifetime of work will ensure dignity in retirement.

According to the most recent report of the independent Social Security Trustees, the trust fund is currently in surplus and growing. Even though Social Security began collecting less in taxes than it paid in benefits in 2010, the trust fund will continue to accrue interest and grow until 2025, and will have adequate resources to pay full benefits for the next 26 years.

For years, the surpluses in the Social Security trust fund have helped to mask our deficits elsewhere. Now that we are paying Social Security back, the problem is not with Social Security, but with the rest of the budget. In 2001 and 2003, Washington cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans and later expanded Medicare without paying for it. Blaming Social Security for our fiscal woes is like blaming you for not saving enough in your checking account because the bank lost all depositors’ money.

The problem is not Social Security; the problem is the mismatch between outlays and revenues in the rest of the budget. Closing that gap and paying down our debt will take tough choices, and the president’s budget makes them. Strengthening Social Security is an important, but parallel, issue that needs to be addressed as quickly as possible. But let’s not confuse it as either the cause of or a solution to our short-term fiscal problems.

Printed in full because it is too damn important.


6 thoughts on “Facts That Need To Be Remembered – Social Security Is Fiscally Sound, Do You Hear That Media??!!

  1. The only thing I think I would be for is trimming some medicare. Plan D comes to mind the most. I’m on the program and its so damn expensive that I feel I’d be better without it but am some what loath to quit it so soon or at least at this point. BTW Bush expanded medicare in a very shameful way that actually harmed the budget.

  2. I think that Medicare providers need more policing as there is fraud being perpetuated. But that would require HIRING more workers and CREATING JOBS! Republicans cannot reduce unemployment before 2012 elections. We just had 10 doctors and medical providers arrested in Houston for fraudulent billing for services and equipment that was never offered. This was an earlier arrest:


    I get tired of all of the “scooter” “Hoveround” commercials on TV and the actors smiling, saying, they “didn’t pay a thing”. I have arthritic hips, knees, and neuropathy due to diabetes, but my geriatric physician encourages me only to WALK, WALK, WALK.

    I get diabetic supplies “free” through Medicare from one of the mail-order suppliers who also are all over TV. I was paying $100 a month in copays at my CVS store for testing supplies, needles, etc. However, I have to be careful or US Medical will send me supplies “automatically” when I don’t need them. I was being sent NEW CPAC headgear every 3 months even though I didn’t need a new one, but the government says I can have new masks and hoses, filters, 4 times a year anyway. These masks can cost hundreds! Since I never found a mask that would give me a good night of sleep(in fact just the opposite), I have notified them not to automatically mail me any more.

  3. Crazy Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) has suggested slashing $4.5 billion from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Bachmann’s proposal, which is part of a $400 billion spending-cut strategy to avoid raising the debt ceiling. Bachmann wants to freeze funding for health care plus cut disability payments for vets who also collect from Social Security.

    And here we are always led to believe that ONLY REPUBLICANS love our troops. I guess when they are killing others they are okay, but once they retire…….!

    This could affect my partner who received a serious head injury (was in a coma for a month in ICU) while in the U.S. Navy. He gets disability plus SSI.

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