Letter to the Editor
To the editor:
I can sympathize with reader Paul Kelly and his concern about Social Security. (“Just say no to Social Security revamp,” March 18-31 New Hampshire Business Review.)
But it is even worse than he fears; Congress passes laws, which make their actions legal, even if they (legally) steal money from the Social Security trust fund.
The trust fund is empty, and always has been. The money deposited there as a result of Social Security taxes higher than needed to pay today’s beneficiaries, is not saved – it is immediately spent on whatever government spends money on.
In the current debate, it is implied that some of us can’t handle any money we would get to invest on our own. Doubtless that is true for a minority, but under the present “trust” system ALL of those funds are taken from us – far more than we might lose on our own.
And the worst part is, this money that has been spent will have to be paid back when needed by future retirees. The Treasury is broke, and we have a huge national debt. Who will pay it back, and how? The government has no money of its own and must rely on taxes from the people who have already provided the money once, through Social Security taxes. Not only that, but this trust fund money is paid interest by the Treasury, so the amount to be paid back will be even greater.
But the politicians are afraid to raise taxes directly, so they have the Treasury issue bills, notes and bonds, which are interest-bearing securities, and that way hide the debt from the public and at the same time put the day of reckoning off for our children and grandchildren to deal with. And by the way, the interest charges from two sources are compounding every day.
I think it’s interesting that our “leaders” never discuss, or even face, this issue with the voters, even though their actions spend and spend this “trust fund” money. It gives the word trust a bad name.