Government

Stealing your Social Security money – ignorance is rampant. πŸ˜”

Misleading information and uninformed people seem to have control of every segment of the media. That’s unfortunate because it leads to poor judgements, poor solutions and it scares people.

Read this letter to the Editor from one such person. There is no surplus in Social Security and the $2.9 is already invested in Treasury Bonds, the proceeds of which have long ago been used by government just as it uses the proceeds from all Treasury sales. This type of funding has been in effect since Social Security began in the 1930s. And no, it’s not contradictory when I say there is no surplus, but there is a reserve. That’s because the reserve is already committed to provide benefits for the next 18 years and the already created total liability is far greater.

The payroll tax proceeds are designated by law for the SS trust and to casually and ignorantly speculate that they will simply be diverted elsewhere and benefit payments stopped is just stupid.

And about “their” annual deficits! “Their” is us, we Americans who demand more and more from government and don’t ask how it’s going to be paid for or we expect others to pay. There is no “their,” the government is we the people.

House Joint Resolution 2 β€” Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution: β€œSection 7. Total receipts shall include all receipts of the United States Government except those derived from borrowing. Total outlays shall include all outlays of the United States Government except for those for repayment of debt principal.”

This section allows the government to use all receipts coming in. This includes receipts from FICA taxes (Social Security). It could also be used to take the current $2.9 trillion surplus in the Social Security Trust Fund to pay down the deficit. In other words, they could steal Social Security money to cover their annual deficits. This could cause you to lose your Social Security benefit checks.

Rep. Darin LaHood voted β€œyes” for this resolution. Does he want the elderly to lose their monthly checks and starve to death? This amendment didn’t get the two-thirds required vote to pass but Congress is actively working to steal your Social Security money. This amendment is one of eight that they have tried to pass lately.

James Anderson

Letter to the Editor

Peoria Journal Star

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7 replies »

  1. We KNOW that LBJ moved the SS fund to MAKE his budget look balanced. Then Congress saw a pot of gold. Then they changed the name to Entitlements and they never paid in. I think the Congressional pension plan should be converted to SS and they have to follow the rules to get it when they retire. They don’t need over 200,000 a year as pension for serving one or two terms. and we need to limit those terms now. Our forefathers did not invent the Congress to be a life time job. We also need the yearly limit taken off the FICA tax and it goes all year like for most of us.
    CEOs are done paying in on 2/1. this will bring in extra funds. If they do raise the age; they need to make it for those YOUNGER folks who can get used to that idea and put money away in a 401K etc. anyone 50and up is looking at retirement already. Many go at 50. You have to go at 50 or wait till 55. it needs to be started way before that.
    The people I know put money away for the taxes each quarter. Look at how many were able to pay 2 quarters and tried to pay the whole year ahead of this awful tax law.
    Anyone retired- did you see extra money??? 1 in 10 in NJ they are now saying will end up paying more to the IRS. Property taxes, home equity loans etc. Now in NJ we may make out with pensions being lowered for taxes as long as our spending governor doesn’t try to change it.
    He is ready to give away the whole state and tax everyone to the hilt.

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    • SS has been funded and the Trust operated the same way since 1935. Nothing has changed except as of 2010 there is no extra payroll taxes to put on the trust and invest in Treasury bonds. Congress pays into SS and has since 1983. Their pensions are nowhere near $200,000 and they have to serve more than two terms to get anything. You are correct though, Congress should not be a lifetime job. If the payroll tax limits are taken off and benefits kept the same, then SS becomes welfare and that was never the intent. The benefit formula already skews higher benefits to lower income Americans.

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  2. Sorry, when you say “… the payroll tax proceeds are designated by law for the SS trust and to casually and ignorantly speculate that they will simply be diverted elsewhere and benefit payments stopped is just stupid. ..” you suggest that there are tangible assets (stocks, bonds, etc.) in the SS trust. There is only a set of promises to pay. .

    Promises to pay, in this situation, are nothing more than promises to increase taxes on taxpayers to fund benefits that Congress already promised.

    However, if they prefer, Congress can change its mind today and:
    (1) Reduce Social Security income benefits, cap benefits at a level necessary to match the payroll taxes received,
    (2) Make Social Security a welfare program, by means testing the benefit and eliminating benefits and denying benefits in the future to anyone whose income is, say, in excess of the poverty level, and/or
    (3) Restructure Medicare Part A to include Parts B and D, then raise Medicare Hospital Insurance taxes (FICA-Med) as necessary to sustain Medicare.

    No, there is no surplus, and no there is no reserve. America is $21T in debt, and projected to add $1T a year for the next ten years. When the debt is called, it’s not like we can ask the French to bankroll our entitlements.

    It is this lack of contractual relationship that has older Americans up in arms, and, similarly, results in Millennials questioning the sustainability of Social Security and Medicare. This is even worse than all of the past situations you have complained about – cutbacks in retiree medical or reductions in future pension accruals, where an employer retained the right to amend, modify or terminate the deal.

    Go ahead, if you are feeling so secure, get Congress to announce in writing, in the form of an enforceable contract, who is going to pay and how much for what benefits.

    Start with Bernie, then Elizabeth, then Nancy, then Chuckie. Once you have everyone’s commitment, you can then go to Paul Ryan, who, by then, will be back in Wisconsin, sitting in that wheel chair ready to be pushed off a cliff.

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    • Guess we better tell China about its risky investments too. I better go cash in all my savings bonds tomorrow. What bonds of any kind are not a promise to pay which can be destroyed by default? Is there any program that government provides that is a contractual relationship? And let’s be realistic is there such a thing as a politician who would do the things you are worried about? I doubt it? Changes in the future, there better be or more likely higher taxes.

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  3. Last week an opinion column in my local weekly paper by a ” community columnist” implied the same thing about a raid on Social Security funds. Misinformed propaganda abounds.

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    • Yes. Any bond that is based on Congress acting to raise income and/or other taxes is much more risky than a private, for profit enterprise, where debt was used to invest in a performing asset.

      I wouldn’t want to be China – however, I suspect they are playing a different, political “game”. I don’t own any savings bonds – something about that .1% EE rate of return. Even “I” bonds are < 3%.

      Most corporate bonds are not at risk of default because businesses will need cash for future investments. However, go back 10 years to GM and Chrysler, whenever the government gets involved, grab your wallet.

      However, I agree with you. No politician will vote to cut benefits so long as she can assess more taxes on future generations. However, that only works for just so long. When the debt is called, whoever is holding it, … there will be a price to pay

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  4. People like this do not even live paycheck to paycheck. They live next paycheck to next paycheck using credit. I am betting that people like this would put money into a savings account on January second to pay their property taxes for the 2nd quarter and mid-March go “oh I have a surplus, let’s go on vacation”. Come April first they don’t have the money to pay their taxes and yell that the government must raise their entitlements because “they owe us”..

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