Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bruce Bartlett on the trust funds

Bruce Bartlett writes on what the Social Security trust fund is – and isn't.

Most Americans believe that the Social Security trust fund contains a pot of money that is sitting somewhere earning interest to pay their benefits when they retire. On paper this is true; somewhere in a Treasury Department ledger there are $2.4 trillion worth of assets labeled "Social Security trust fund."

The problem is that by law 100% of these "assets" are invested in Treasury securities. Therefore, the trust fund does not have any actual resources with which to pay Social Security benefits. It's as if you wrote an IOU to yourself; no matter how large the IOU is it doesn't increase your net worth.

Click here to read the whole article.

1 comment:

Bruce Webb said...

Two steps to Social Security Crisis.

One. Discount Full Faith and Credit of the United States to Zero.

Two. Wave your hands in the air.

Three. Declare 'Crisis'.

I went to the minimart today and took out $200 in Jacksons. Per Bruce B I was just a sucker taking out 'Fiat Money' backed by nothing.

I kind of like Bartlett and Samwick and a guy named Biggs because you are all smart and well spoken and skillful debators. Just as the top cops in the W.E.B. Griffon Philly Cop series like that Mafia lawyer. Because jeez Armando is just doing his job and representing his client.

Kind of like John Yoo. People won't get whacked or tortured because people deny the real obligations of the Social Security Trust Funds, but I see no reason not to draw moral equivalences.