Friday, February 15, 2013

Forget the State of the Union, Here's the President on The State of Social Security

During the President's State of the Union address, he provided a glimpse into the state of Social Security. It's not pretty.

The Social Security Administration claims it has funds to pay retirees until the year 2033:
 The trust fund ratio, which indicates the number of years of program cost that could be financed solely with current trust fund reserves, peaked in 2008, declined through 2011, and is expected to decline further in future years. After 2020, Treasury will redeem trust fund assets in amounts that exceed interest earnings until exhaustion of trust fund reserves in 2033.
But if this is true, why did President Obama say this in his State of the Union address?:
Now, some in this Congress have proposed preventing only the defense cuts by making even bigger cuts to things like education and job training; Medicare and Social Security benefits. 
The truth is that the Social Security Trust Fund is filled with nothing but US Treasury securities, to back up its claim of reserves. That is, it has IOUs from a government that doesn't have any money. The money that the Social Security fund took in and "invested" was in fact given to the federal government and spent. The SS fund received in return the IOUs. That's why there is talk of cutting Social Security benefits, because the government has no money outside of current revenues from which to pay retirees. Obama by the above comment from the State of the Union address shows that he understands this. The money isn't there, the cuts will come 

1 comment:

  1. Everyone understands this but I don't think Obama was hinting at the stark reality.

    Obama was simply playing political football w/ Soc. Secruity, like every politician. On both sides, they scare seniors into voting for them by claiming the other is going to cut their benefits.