Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Echoes

"Today, Social Security is strong. But by 2013, payroll taxes will no longer be sufficient to cover monthly payments. And by 2032, the trust fund will be exhausted, and Social Security will be unable to pay out the full benefits older Americans have been promised." William J. Clinton, January 19, 1999.

Funny how the lefty-loons ignore that, and now pretend that Social Security is just fine and dandy. Dubya's making it all up, they claim.

(Also see: “Save Social Security First”? ).

Clinton also said, "The best way to keep Social Security a rock-solid guarantee is not to make drastic cuts in benefits; not to raise payroll tax rates; and not to drain resources from Social Security in the name of saving it."

This wasn't the first time Clinton had addressed the problems that were looming with Social Security. (It was just the easiest citation for me to find.) I suspect that last part, about not draining resources from Social Security, was in answer to proposals made even back then, which would have allowed workers to divert a portion of what was being confiscated from them under FICA, into personal investment accounts. Even then, that was anathema.

Clinton's proposal was to take part of what had been a projected surplus, and invest in in the stock market and other equities, to help offset the shortfalls. A year later, of course, in 2000 the dot.com bubble began to rupture, so did Clinton's mythical surplus.

Mythical?

Correct me if I'm wrong with this. I don't mind it because I admit, I could be.

I've been looking for citations and coming up blank, but it's like snippets of an old song that keeps echoing faintly in the back of your mind and as soon as you try to grab it POOF!, it dances just out of reach . . . until it begins taunting you again at some ungawdly hour like 2 ayem. And then you can't go back to sleep no matter how hard you try.

I think Clinton was the first president to include in his surplus/deficit projections, the value of the bonds in the Social Security Trust Fund. And since they have no real value outside of redemption by the Treasury Department, it was really only robbing Peter to pay Paul. Which, to me, would make it a mythical surplus.

Confused? Don't feel badly. You should see if from this side of the screen. Be grateful for this, though. At least I kept what I was writing about the "imaginary rectangle" in DRAFT.

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