The Young Turks: “How can Social Security have a $2.5 trillion surplus, and yet everyone says it’s just a bunch of IOUs?”

Our political parties don’t agree on much, but on Social Security funding, Republicans and Democrats can sing in the same key: the Trust Fund has a solvency problem that needs to be fixed by 2034.

By now it’s in the open the government spends every dime of payroll tax income leftover after immediate benefits are paid. Members of both parties have admitted the practice–and both sides have, at times, called the surplus for what it is: a $2.5 trillion pile of IOUs to the American public.

And then the finger-pointing begins. Followed closely by calls for cuts disguised as necessary reforms.

So, we admit that the surplus was spent–the surplus we’ve deliberately amassed over time to prepare for demographic changes and financial challenges we’re encountering now–and somehow we jump from that to proposing cuts to increase Social Security income.

…But, hold on. What about that borrowed $2.5 trillion?

You guys called those “IOUs.” …Doesn’t that mean you need to pay them back?

Is anyone on either side even thinking about paying it back? Or at the very least considering a freeze on using Social Security income to fund general budget shopping sprees?

According to The Young Turks’ Cenk Uygur, the answer is no. Of course not.

But although IOUs may not be cash, they DO represent the government’s responsibility to produce that cash when the public needs it. Which is right now.

So where is it?

As Uygur explains, despite the faux outrage on either side, the reality is they would rather cut your benefits and raise the retirement age to find that money–and leave that little question about the $2.5 trillion they owe us under the rug:

“Don’t let the Republicans do that to you, but don’t let the Democrats do that to you either. Don’t let anyone try to pull the wool over your eyes… The Social Security surplus is real. That’s money you paid into. That’s money you’re owed. And under no circumstances should you let these Washington politicians take that from you.”