IOUs won’t keep Social Security afloat
There was this elderly man and wife who lived in our community in the early l950s. They had purchased some land, and each year, the old gentleman went to the bank and paid his note.
Being a survivor of the Great Depression, he didn’t hold much stock in banks, so he kept his cash in a shoe box hidden away in his closet. During the year, he saved up his money to pay his bank note.
One day he came to our home and asked to see my dad. I could tell that he was upset, so I positioned myself as close to this adult conversation as I could.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do, Bill. It’s all gone, all $150. Not one dollar is left.”
“Tell me what happened,” my dad inquired.
“When I opened the box, all that was in it was this paper with IOU written on it. I know she planned to pay it back, but where would she get that kind of money? It’s gone, every penny. I just don’t know how I’m going to pay the bank. I may lose my place.”
“How many cows do you have? Dad asked.
“Twenty-three,” the old gentleman replied.
I can still remember helping dad put the side planks on the Ford truck and taking three steers to the sale barn out on old Highway 3.
In Washington today, the same story is being played out. Cash that was supposed to pay for Social Security has been spent. All that is left are IOUs which are either worthless or which will have to be redeemed by significant tax increases.
In other words, just like the old gentleman whose wife had taken his money and left IOUs in the box, the government will have to “double bill” all of us or (2), the government can simply let the Social Security program go broke.
This year, the Social Security Program will have to pay out $45 billion dollars more than it collects, and by the end of the decade, it will have to pay out “$600 billion.”
Today, there is no money in the Social Security Trust Fund. There are IOUs there, of course, but the money you contributed in the form of FICA taxes has long ago been spent by politicians who were more interested in self-promotion and power than fiscal responsibility. If you receive a Social Security check, every penny of that money must be borrowed from China or some other country.
Yet, we have Democrat Harry Reid stating that the Social Security Program is solvent as far as the eye can see, that it does not need changing. Socialist Senator Benard Sanders is singing the same tune. How dumb they must think we are.
What is the truth? According to the Washington Post, “The $2.5 trillion surplus has been borrowed over the years by the federal government and spent on other programs. In return, the Treasury Department has issued bonds to Social Security, guaranteeing repayment with interest.”
With America’s $14.2 trillion debt, this obligation to our senior citizens will be paid when I fly like Superman.
Like it or not, change to this program must come, and every politician who voted to spend trust fund money is to blame.
Our senior citizens, unfortunately, will be the one’s to bear the pain.
Walter Patterson is a guest columnist for The Yazoo Herald.
Last Updated (Tuesday, 01 February 2011 22:06)