"No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine." - - - William Blum

May 13, 2005

Borrowing from the Future

This from the ARA:

Budget “Borrows” Another $150 Billion of Social Security Surplus

Tucked away in the fine print of the budget resolution recently passed by Congress, Social Security’s $150 billion annual surplus was transferred, yet again, to the government’s operating expenses. Social Security’s Trust Fund has accumulated a $1.7 trillion surplus thanks to legislation passed in 1983 that built reserves to anticipate retiring baby boomers.

Since taking office in 2001, the Bush administration has borrowed almost $700 billion from the Trust Fund while enacting massive tax cuts that have cost the government more than $800 billion. In fact, the cost of tax cuts for the top 1% of Americans would cover Social Security’s future shortfall. This year’s budget resolution includes, at President Bush’s request, an additional $106 billion in tax cuts that overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest Americans.

“When President Bush promotes his plans to replace Social Security’s guaranteed benefits with risky private accounts, he repeatedly insists the Trust Fund does not exist and is ‘just IOUs,” said Ruben Burks, secretary-treasurer of the Alliance for Retired Americans. “Yet when it comes to tax cuts, billions of those ‘IOUs’ flow straight to the wealthiest Americans.”

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