This year, Social Security goes into the red, unable to pay out all that’s been promised . . . without somehow finding new funds. Five years ago, the estimated date for this was 2017. An economic downturn later and seven years disappear. Just like that.
It’s obviously time for a major overhaul. But Congress and the President had other priorities. Don’t fix the old entitlement program — add a new one to bankrupt the country, “health care reform.”
What to do? Well, Associated Press’s Stephen Ohlemacher writes that it is time to cash in the IOUs that Congress owes the Social Security Administration. Congress has been siphoning off the system’s revenue surplus since the ’80s.
Congress, that august body of spendthrifts and thieves, actually accounted for these funds by printing up non-negotiable bonds, rather than leaving them as electronic IOUs. They are stored in a folder in Parkersburg, West Virginia.
Fat lot of good that does us, though. To pay the bonds, Congress would have to raise taxes or borrow even more money.
Or it could auction off some property. Selling vast tracts of BLM land might make sense, but you won’t see that brought up. Instead, Congress will be sorely tempted to debase our money further.
Congress’s IOUs to Social Security add up, to $2.5 trillion. Of course, the money promised Americans in basic retirement is far more than that. The two-and-a-half trillion is just the tip of a very large iceberg . . . heading this way.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.