“What in heaven’s name are you going to do with $47 billion?” That’s what U.S. Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan asked when President Franklin Roosevelt proposed building a balance in the Social Security Trust Fund.
Senator Vanderberg went on to worry that the Social Security Trust Fund would lead to Socialism. He should have worried that it would lead to theft. Because Congress didn’t invest the Social Security Trust Fund as President Roosevelt advocated. They spent it.
They spent every dime. Today, the debt that the US Treasury owes Social Security is a lot more than the $47 Billion President Roosevelt advocated. The debt is approaching $2.9 Trillion. $2.9 Trillion.
Congress has spent $2.9 Trillion from our Social Security Trust Fund.
For their entire working lives, the American people paid into Social Security with the belief that it would be there for them when they retired. Congress systematically took the money and spent it on just about every government program out there. Republicans like to blame the Democrats and point out that Social Security money was spent on Obamacare. That’s true, it was. And the Democrats, blame the Republicans, saying that Social Security money was spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That’s also true, it was. Money from our Social Security Trust Fund has helped justify tax cuts and spending plans.
Congress has spent every last dime. Today, so-called leaders of both political parties say they are worried about the “future” of “entitlements.” They call for “reform.” And they refuse to accept responsibility. Those very people who made the decisions to raid our Social Security Trust Fund are now asking retirees to sacrifice while taking no blame themselves.
They criticize The Seniors Center and our members and they even deny the raid saying they always planned to pay the Social Security Trust Fund back. They’re outraged that we expose their lies. And they rightly point out that repaying the Social Security Trust Fund won’t fix everything.
And they’re right. Repaying the Social Security Trust Fund won’t fix everything. But it’s a good start. Repaying the Social Security Trust Fund will ensure solvency for 16 years. And it’s the right thing to do.
Spending the money in our Social Security Trust Fund was just one of the things that Congress has done to damage its future. Through neglect, ignorance, and financial malfeasance, Congress has sent the Social Security Trust Fund on a path towards bankruptcy.