Fake news about Social Security is particularly dispicable. There is no surplus 🤫

Consider this Twitter Post

Scary stuff, right? The good news is that it’s a lot of nonsense designed to do what I’m not sure except scare seniors and create more animosity toward Republicans.

The truth is there is no surplus. That $2.9 trillion is the reserve built up to meet the obligations already created and earned under Social Security. The last time there was anything close to a surplus was in 2010 when payroll taxes last exceeded the benefits being paid.

The $2.9 trillion is in the form of special US Treasury bonds which are a debt obligation paying the SS Trust interest each month.

What the Tweet refers to was a vote on a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget. Interesting though, the amendment contained this exception for government debt.

This joint resolution proposes a constitutional amendment prohibiting total outlays for a fiscal year from exceeding total receipts for that fiscal year unless Congress authorizes the excess by a three-fifths roll call vote of each chamber. The prohibition excludes outlays for repayment of debt principal and receipts derived from borrowing.


  1. Wow apparently you must run Social Security because you know more than they do – sorry, but even the Board of Trustees is stating there is a surplus – maybe you should read the report and not just make up stuff


    1. I have read the report and dozens of past ones as well. You need to look up the definition of a surplus. The reserves are already committed to pay benefits and even now are being depleted with a predicted date of 2034 to be used up. Unless there will be no new beneficiaries between now and then where is the surplus? A surplus is an amount above and beyond what is needed or committed to use. When people talk about a surplus, they are referring to the fact that at present the interest paid by the reserves plus all other income is in excess of all expenses, but in the latest trustee report that stops in 2018 and reserves must be used until they are gone. If you think there is a surplus and there’s no problem, be my guest.


    2. FYI. The word “surplus” appears only once in the 2018 Report and not in the context of the reserves or assets.


  2. The use of Social Security Trust Fund moneys was passed by President Johnson( bless his pea- picking heart).
    There was a great surplus and no fear of the fund running out, but seems it was too tempting for many other burocratic entities to “borrow “ funds that have never been repaid.
    Is it impossible to close that door leaving the funds for what they were meant?
    One point that gets my gut is family sponsored seniors (65)from other countries are eligible for benefits without ever paying in a cent.
    Johnson declared every senior should have social security!
    Many checks are higher than for the folks who paid in all their working lives.


    1. Your comments reflect the point of my post. What you are saying about a surplus and borrowing is not true or correct. The Trust will be unable to pay full benefits in 2035 AFTER all of the bonds making up the $2.9 Trust fund have been redeemed. And currently interest on those bonds is the only thing allowing full benefits to be paid. NOBODY BORROWED OR STOLE THE SS MONEY.


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