With the debt ceiling deadline looming in the Summer of 2011, President Barak Obama worried about Social Security “I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven’t resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.” At the time, the Social Security Trust Fund was reporting a surplus balance of $2.6 Trillion so why wasn’t there money to pay Social Security checks?
It’s the dirty little secret that everyone in Washington knows but no one wants to talk about: There is no Social Security Trust Fund. There wasn’t one in 2011 and there isn’t one now. Congress spent every dime in the Social Security Trust Fund and replaced our Social Security savings with a file cabinet full of IOUs in Parkersburg, West Virginia.
With another debt ceiling deadline looming September 29, Social Security payments are once again in jeopardy. Because despite the experience of 2011, Congress has continued to treat the Social Security Trust Fund like a piggy bank. Even the interest that the Treasury “pays” to the Social Security Trust Fund is paid with IOUs.
While partisan politicians blame President Bush or President Obama for spending the money in the Social Security Trust Fund. The truth is that most of the politicians in Washington have participated. Republican Presidents and Democrat Presidents. Democrat controlled Congresses and Republican Controlled Congresses. The Social Security Trust Fund was just too much of a temptation for most of the politicians in Washington.
So once again, as Congress bickers over raising the debt ceiling, our Nation’s retired people are vulnerable to having their Social Security checks delayed, Because the Social Security Trust Fund is empty. That filing cabinet at the Department of Public Debt in Parkersburg WV doesn’t hold one dollar of real money. And you can’t pay Social Security benefits with notebooks full of IOUs.