by Junious Ricardo Stanton ~
“You know it’s funny when it rains it pours, they got money for wars but they can’t feed the poor.” Tupac Shakur
The duplicity and hypocrisy of the US government is mind blowing. Doing the bidding of the corporations and special interests who bribe them to keep them fat and content, the president and Congress have initiated policies that have driven the US economy over a cliff. Now they say they have to take the initiative for fiscal sanity to save the government from default after they gave trillions of our tax dollars to the very crooks who caused the implosion in the first place!? Fine, but what’s their plan? They've cut taxes on the rich (General Electric paid no federal taxes I repeat no taxes in 2010) while they cut the social safety net on the poor and raise our taxes. In the midst of all this, Obama starts bombing yet another Muslim country.
Wars are costly and extremely expensive. Yet the US always finds a reason not to go to war unless it is against a country that can't really fight back with their own weapons of mass destruction. In effect the US has morphed into the world’s school yard bully who enjoys ganging up on smaller, weaker countries to take their lunch money, or in the case of Iraq, Libya, Somalia and Afghanistan, their natural and mineral resources.
Meanwhile at home both Democrats (Cuomo in New York) and Republicans (Christy in New Jersey, Walker in Wisconsin, Corbett in Pennsylvania, Kabish in Ohio) are attempting to balance their budgets on the backs of the working poor and middle class while giving humongous tax breaks and exemptions to the corporations that fund their campaigns. These heartless money grubbers don’t care about the little people they are hurting. All they care about is their ideological and class agendas.
If they were serious about balancing their budgets they would make the corporations pay their fair share. Profits are at an all time high, production is up but job creation is down! Don’t believe the CNBC and Wall Street folderol that the rich deserve a tax break because they create the jobs. What jobs? If they were creating jobs, unemployment won’t be at an all time high, people wouldn't be losing their homes and living in tent cities.
On the federal level the Klepotcrats on both sides of the aisle are attempting to gut Social Security and ruin one of the most effective programs the federal government operates even if it is a modified Ponzi scheme. It’s very unscrupulous so stay with me. The Social Security program as it was set up by the Social Security Act of 1935 is a pay as you go program. This means that funds taken from worker’s pay checks today are used to pay current benefits to the disabled, elderly, widows and dependent children. From day one, the money went directly to the people and any left over went into the Social Security Trust Fund. Due to the population demographics when it was first enacted, the Social Security Trust Fund was able to meet present demands because the money paid out in benefits was much less that the money taken in. So in its early years, the Social Security Trust Fund enjoyed a surplus of revenue.
But by the 60's during the Johnson administration the bills for the Vietnam War and “Great Society” programs were eating up the budget and Johnson was running huge deficits. Someone in his administration suggested they use the Social Security tax money to pay the bills to keep from having to borrow even more money at interest from international bankers and foreign governments. Johnson listened and started a precedent that has continued to this day.
Under Johnson and every president since, the money taken from your paycheck for Social Security pays the benefits of all the people drawing Social Security for whatever reason and the money left over is used by the government to pay its bills. The government takes the money from the Social Security Trust Fund and puts an IOU back into the Social Security Trust Fund. These IOUs are in the form of non-commercial, non interest baring certificates. In effect the government is borrowing from itself. But unlike US Treasury Notes they are not sold to the public to raise money and they bare no interest. Its just a piece of paper to denote how much money the government has “borrowed” from the Social Security Trust Fund.
Without all this "borrowing" the Social Security Trust Fund would have trillions of dollars in reserve. But alas since the late 60's Uncle Sam has been taking it to keep the government rolling. From the Johnson administration on whether it was a Republican or Democratic administration, they’ve been “borrowing” from the Social Security Trust Fund to pay the bills and make it look like the government’s deficit is lower than it actually is, because they are paying the bills from money from the Social Security Trust Fund. This way they don’t have to borrow from the Federal Reserve Bank or auction T Bills to make ends meet. This was the source of the bogus “surplus” Bill Clinton keeps talking about.
Keep in mind people are living longer, a Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) and early retirement were added to the original Social Security Act which meant more money was being taken in from taxes to pay for the increased benefits and beneficiaries. Also keep in mind the government was taking out money to pay their bills and not paying it back because more money was still coming in than was going out. But by the time of Reagans “trickle down” idiocy the government needed more and more money to cover the deficits Reaganomics caused. In fact under Ronald Reagan they had to increase the amount of money they took from us every pay day just to keep the scheme going. This was what the so called “bipartisan” plan to save Social Security where they started taxing Social Security benefits was really about.
But now the baby boomers are retiring, many illegal immigrants are getting benefits for their children, the population curve is in a downward trajectory and we are in an ongoing economic slump. So now more money is going out and less is coming in. Here’s where the plan to gut Social Security comes in. In order to extend the Bu$h tax cuts for the super rich Obama and the Democrats sold us out by agreeing to lower the amount of money taken out for Social Security under the guise of giving us more spending money to boost the economy. On the surface it sounds like a good idea but what this is doing is lowering the money coming into the Social Security Fund. But meanwhile the benefit costs are increasing and the government still “borrows” money as it comes in from this “pay as you go” system to pay its ever increasing bills.
What they are doing is setting Social Security up to go bust. As more boomers retire every day, more benefits are going out but less money will come in. The economy is still in a protracted tailspin and less tax money is coming into the Social Security coffers thanks to the “bipartisan” tax cut deal. This will hasten the day when Social Security pays out more than it actually takes in. When that happens the fascists will say, “See the system is costing us money, dissolve it.” Keep in mind the IOUs in the Social Security Trust Fund aren’t worth anything so the government can’t sell or auction them off to raise funds. They will be forced to either raise taxes or borrow even more money; this time outside the government to pay the Social Security benefits. Talk about a Catch 22 situation.
So in effect these psychopaths have deliberately created a debt time bomb to implode Social Security thereby accomplishing what they’ve been trying to do for years; destroy or privatize it. Keep in mind your beloved Obama is in on it! Everything the oligopoly tells him to do he does. This could be the beginning of the end of Social Security unless some righteous politicians take a stand on our behalf.