The Seniors Center President Dan Perrin answered “Has the U.S. Congress really borrowed trillions from Social Security to use for government spending?” on Quora:
Yes. In 1983, The Greenspan Commission came up with a plan to save money to provide for the retirement of the Baby Boom Generation. President Reagan and the Democrat-controlled Congress agreed with the plan and raised Social Security withholding which immediately resulted in a large surplus in the Social Security Trust Fund.
Unfortunately, Congress saw that surplus and decided to borrow and spend it. It was all very legal. In fact, the United States Treasury even created special bonds to to show how much money they owed to Social Security.
Over the next thirty years, that surplus grew to almost $3 Trillion. And Congress continued borrowing it.
Now, the Social Security Trust Fund sits empty — there isn’t enough money to pay the benefits that are owed this year. But there is a file cabinet in Parkersburg, West Virginia filled with those special bonds the Treasury issued to replace the money in the Social Security Trust Fund
In Washington, the Democrats often accuse the Republicans of “raiding” the Social Security Trust Fund. And the Republicans accuse the Democrats of “raiding” the Social Security Trust Fund. Both are right. Neither party has been able to resist the urge to spend the money that doesn’t belong to them.
The Seniors Center President Dan Perrin regularly answers questions from the public on Quora. Over half a million people have read his answers and he is one of Quora’s top-ranked experts on Social Security, Government, and several other issues.