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Action necessary to save Social Security
Each year, nearly every member of Congress claims they want to save Social Security.
However, each year, they siphon-off every dollar of our surplus FICA dollars ear-marked for the “reserve account” of the Social Security Trust Fund. Please keep in mind that the reserve account was established to ensure availability of funds to pay pensions earned by future senior retirees. Further, Congress places non-marketable IOUs in the Trust Fund rather than marketable assets. To date, Congress has no plan or budget in place to redeem the interest-bearing IOUs.
Since 1960, the Social Security Trust Fund has accumulated surplus (reserve) funds of almost $5 trillion. As previously stated, every surplus dollar went to government general fund, rather than the trust fund. Government economists predict the annual FICA surplus will start shrinking in 2011 and will turn into rapidly growing deficits as the baby boomer generation retires.
The moment of truth for Congress is not only at hand but is long past due.
Increasing FICA payroll taxes is not the solution. Doing so would give Congress more FICA dollars to borrow and to fund parochial pork projects and other “Great Society” social programs unrelated to the Social Security pension program.
Further, the number of IOUs and the national debt would continue to grow.
Congress can put Social Security on a sustainable course if it devotes more time to positive oversight and less time to pursuing parochial politics.
Examples of positive Congressional actions are:
Congress can put Social Security on a sustainable course if it adopts a “hands-off” policy for the trust fund annual surplus dollars and provides positive oversight as suggested above. If you agree, please advise your elected members of Congress accordingly. Together, we can save Social Security for our children and grandchildren.
Edward A. Sparrow Sr.