Friday, April 16, 2010


I never did believe Social Security would be viable by the time I reached the age to collect it. I remember learning about it in a government class in high school ( a very long time ago in the age of hippies in the '60's) and saying to myself that Social Security was a dumb idea and would never be able to pay for itself. First, I reacted to it as a socialist scheme that I find repulsive. And second, I saw it as a Ponzi scheme that would eventually fail for any number of reasons. So I never thought I would collect any of it. And frankly, I would love to not have the need to collect any of it. The idea that other people and their children would be paying me some stipend for my existence just doesn't sit well with me. Partly that is pride, but mostly it is my sense of right and wrong.

Over time Congress has appropriated 4 trillion dollars from the "lock box" that was supposed to be Social Security and Medicare and replaced the money with IOUs. Today both funds are completely bankrupt and there is no money to fund them. That means you and I will now borrow and tax from ourselves and future generations to pay a pittance back to ourselves in Social Security or Medicare, which will suffer major cuts a la the Obama Health Care fiasco. Oh goody. So now we can pay interest on top of the debt, all because the money that we paid in was stolen.

Anyway, below is an article I found from George Mason University that says it all. If you want to bury your head in the sand, this article is not for you. If you want to throttle some very malicious traitors in Congress and in the Executive Branch, I'm with you. Why are these people not wearing orange jumpsuits and cleaning up the roads in chain gangs?

Oversight of Federal Financial Management
Testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization, and Procurement
Veronique de Rugy | Apr 14, 2010

America’s financial situation is unsustainable. In 2009 the federal government spent $3.5 trillion but collected only $2.1 trillion in revenue. The result was a $1.4 trillion deficit, up from $458 billion in 2008. That’s 10 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), a level unseen since World War II. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that we will be running large deficits for the foreseeable future. According to its data, the annual deficits could average $1 trillion during the next 10 years.

While these figures are dramatic, they pale in comparison to what the federal government owes to foreign and domestic investors. According to the CBO, in 2009 America’s debt held by the public reached $7.5 trillion, or 53 percent of GDP, the highest it has been in 50 years. In 2010 the debt will cross the 60 percent threshold, a level at which many economists believe a country is putting itself in financial peril.

Maybe more importantly, the financial accounting of our financial troubles can lead us to underestimate the gravity of the situation. For instance, while the Department of Treasury’s Financial Statement of the United States depicts the financial situation of the country much more accurately than the Office of Management and Budget’s Budget of the United States, it leaves out some important elements that could hinder lawmakers’ realization of the urgency to address our financial situation. For instance, it accounts accurately for the IOUs in the Social Security Trust Fund, however, fails to account for how the federal government will pay its debt to social security and what it means for our debt levels.

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