The Budget Surplus|
& Social Security
From the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (http://www.cbpp.org/313socsec.htm):
"..concerns about both the nation's fiscal health when the baby boom generation retires in large numbers and the need to restore long-term solvency to the Social Security system. Congressional Budget Office projections indicate that deficits will reappear shortly after 2015 and eventually grow to levels unprecedented for periods other than recessions or wars. The projections in the Social Security trustees' report indicate that in 2029, the the Social Security trust funds will not have sufficient resources to cover the full cost of providing Social Security benefits for all of those who qualify for them."
"The Social Security actuaries' projections, reported by the Social Security trustees, show the number of people age 65 and older will nearly double from 34 million in 1995 to 61 million in 2025."
"There also will be a decline in the rate of growth of the working-age population. As a result of these various changes, the ratio of workers to Social Security beneficiaries will decrease from just over three-to-one today to two-to-one in 2030.."
From Thomas H. Smith (http://www.nationaldebt.com/):
"The President wishes to embark on a new program to ‘fix social security’ by using 60% of the budget surplus being forecast over the next 10 years. The Republicans wish to avoid the ‘surplus’ by granting a 10% tax cut. Both of these plans are a fraud on the U.S. Taxpayer."
"..the so-called surplus is being generated by using the savings of the Social Security Trust Fund and 149 other trust funds to hide budget deficits, and to enhance projected minor surpluses.. "
Lyndon Baynes Johnson in his last term wished to leave office with a budget surplus. In order to do this he "borrowed" the cash on deposit in the Social Security system and added it to the total budget, creating what we today call a "unified budget." This practice has been continued by every president since Johnson.
Today, therefore, when Bill Clinton announces a budget surplus, he MEANS that the unified budget, after looting the social security system, shows a surplus. Without the social security funds the net budget still shows a deficit.
In general, the Congress has ignored this fraudulent behavior because it provides them with more money to spend. Everyone, however, does not look the other way. "On January 29, 1998 Senator Hollings made a speech titled: STOP LOOTING THE SOCIAL SECURITY TRUST FUND. It can be found in the Congressional Record on the internet... In his speech Sen. Hollings called the Unified Budget a FRAUD! ... In mid-February at a Budget Hearing to discuss what to do with the surplus, Alan Greenspan was being asked his opinion. Sen. Hollings interrupted Greenspan to say, “There is no budget surplus. The social security trust fund savings are being taken to cover up the deficit.” None of the other congressmen at the meeting took exception to Hollings’ statement. Greenspan, who surely is intimately familiar with this deception, and in my opinion may have actually started it in 1985, hemmed and hawed without being committed either way. " (Thomas H. Smith--http://www.nationaldebt.com/).
"For the 7 years, 1998 through 2004, the cumulative deficit equals $341 Billion.
"..not good enough for politicians. They want to spend more money for their pet projects. So the next step is to - ILLEGALLY- add the trust fund surpluses to the on-budget figures producing an ILLEGAL Unified Budget with the following results: From 1998 through 2009 the budget surplus then totals $2.742 Trillion. These are the exact numbers which the President is quoting to us at every opportunity.
"Are you aware that the President now says he wants to use 60% of this surplus to ‘save social security’? This would figure out to be $1.645 Trillion. That is less than the interest owed to the trust funds in this same period.
"Actually, just from social security in this period, the government would be looting $2 Trillion, so the net loss to the trust fund would be $355 Billion plus the $750 Billion previously taken prior to 1998, a total of $1.105 Trillion!" (Thomas H. Smith--http://www.nationaldebt.com/).
Instead, what do we hear in the news? (from America 2000 Political Forum --http://www.webcom.com/amer2000/index3.html).
In his 1999 State of the Union address, President
Clinton proposed using 60% of the projected federal budget
surplus (for the next 15 years) to strengthen Social
Security. He also would use another 17% of the surplus to
extend the viability of the Medicare program. The remainder
of the projected budget surplus (23%) would be spent on
new programs under the President's proposal (including
contributions by the federal government to citizens'
Universal Savings Accounts).|
The Republicans in Congress responded by advocating that part of the budget surplus be returned to citizens directly through a 10% across-the-board income tax cut and a cut in federal estate taxes.
While our politicians are spending the money which is supposed to be in the Social Security system accruing interest, the National Center for Policy Analysis (http://www.public-policy.org/~ncpa/studies/s172/s172.html) says, based on government figures (the third or pessimistic scenario), that "Social Security plus all government health care programs for the elderly will consume more than half of [everyone's] payroll by 2025 and 83 percent by 2070.. Even with these huge income transfers, the forecasts assume that the elderly will be able to continue paying one-third of their medical expenses from their own resources."
Meanwhile, where is the budget going? Take a look at one estimate from Paul Ryan (http://ryan98.org/budget.html) who is running for Congress:
(Finally, on the subject of Social Security and budget problems, take a look at THE IMMIGRATION SOLUTION suggested by the National Center for Policy Analysis.
Please send comments to: Colby Glass, MLIS