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Government Trust Fund
and Deficit/surplus Report

(updated April 2011)
by Michael Hodges - email
- a chapter of the Grandfather Economic Reports -

Each year nearly every congress-person in both parties
claims they want to save social security.

But  every year they allow every penny of paid-in surpluses
to the trust fund to be spent on other stuff.

The total amount siphoned-off from the social security trust fund to date is $2.4 Trillion,
with an additional 2 Trillion siphoned from other trust funds,
With zero plan to pay anything back to support future retirees.

Trust fund surplus siphoning continues to help camouflage government spending,
So budget surpluses can be claimed when, instead, huge deficits were created,
Or smaller deficits can be claimed than is really the case.

This camaflauge helps politicians get elected,
Drives up debt like crazy
And destroys social security and other trust funds.

And - destroys citizen trust in government.


trust-fund-debt.gif (4114 bytes)Total Federal Government debt at end 2010 was $14 trillion, according to the.Federal Debt Report. Of that total, according to the Treasury Dept., $4.6 trillion was owed to trust funds, because the general government siphoned-off all surpluses that should have been kept in those trust fund accounts for specific use - - like federal employee and senior pensions. After siphoning off trust funds for other uses they placed non-marketable IOUs in the trust accounts instead of marketable assets - - with no budget to pay-back the trust funds.

Trust funds include many different special trust accounts: such as the social security trust fund, the federal employee retirement fund, federal hospital trust fund, railroad retirement fund, military retirement fund, employee life insurance fund, etc.

The practice of siphoning-off trust fund surpluses to spend on non-trust stuff is a way of camouflaging general government deficit spending, making it appear to be in surplus when it's really in deficit - - - or making it appear that a huge deficit is just a modest deficit. Politicians like this practice, but such is dangerous to the financial health of future retirees and our young generation - - and such undermines citizen trust in government..

Note the left chart showing exploding debt owed to trust funds - - an increase of $3.4 trillion during the past 17 years - - or 428% higher.

After bragging in the late 1990s about budget surpluses, when in fact the general government was in deficit (not surplus) despite the highest tax revenue share of the economy in peace-time history, we know they were claiming trust fund surpluses as their own. They were understating their claimed deficits by mixing in surpluses of trust funds.  

According to the above chart, 4.2 trillion of the general federal government government's $10.6 trillion debt  is owed to the group of trust funds.. As we will see below, $2.2 trillion (of that $4.2 trillion) is owed just to the social security trust fund. The government never budgets paying back its $4.2 trillion debt to trust funds with its own money. Why should we allow FICA and trust surpluses to be siphoned-off to pay for programs of the general government for other stuff, like welfare, military, education, etc. - instead of retained in marketable assets for the purposes intended? Its smoke and mirrors. The general government should run its own surpluses for that purpose, not siphon from others.

Using trust fund surpluses to for other stuff is equivalent to - 'a son siphons-off surpluses in his mother's retirement account and uses same to pay for a world cruise or pay down his own credit card dedt - - and then gives her non-marketable IOUs which contain zero pay-back plan, and instead of paying interest in cash (as he would have to do to a credit card company) he will just slip in a few more IOUs to her account - - while telling others that he is a good guy because he is paying off debt and at same time he is saving her retirement account.' Of course it should be just as wrong for a government to self-deal with social security trust funds as it is for a son self-dealing in his mother's retirement account.

Bottom-line: when someone says we are going to use surpluses to pay down debt - - then, you should say whose surplus funds are you using - - your own (of which you have zero), or trust fund surpluses funds that are not yours? Answer: trust funds. And then ask, where is the budgeted plan to repay the trust funds trillions siphoned-off to date to help save social security, etc.? Answer: there is none. Lastly ask, what is the true surplus of the general government if you don't count trust funds as if they belonged to the general government? Answer: the general government has no surplus - - its still running a big deficit. If we want debt reduction (and we do) then its total debt reduction, not just shifting debt from the public to trust funds.


Recognizing a picture is worth a thousand words, a simple graphic follows - -

HOW CAN THEY SAY THEY WANT TO SAVE SOCIAL SECURITY WHEN THEY ARE RAIDING IT?

Social Security Trust fund surpluses siphoned off - now vs 1991At the left is a chart showing the growing amount the general federal government owes the Social Security trust fund at the end of each year shown - the increase being that additional amount of new paid-in surpluses (that came in from such payroll deductions as FICA) but were siphoned-off by the general government as fast as it arrived, and spent on non-pension things - and, every penny is gone, never to be available for its intended purpose - - senior social security pensions.

The Blue bar in the chart - As of the end of fiscal year 2010, $2.4 trillion of in-coming surpluses from workers have been siphoned-off to-date from the Social Security trust fund - a 700 % increase of $2.4 trillion since year-end 1991 - every penny spent on non-pension stuff. ($1.5 trillion of that was siphoned-off during 2000-2010). Non-marketable IOUs were put in the trust in exchange for the cash taken out - - with zero plan budgeted to redeem those IOUs in order to repay in cash or marketable securities the surpluses taken.

Such is illegal in the private sector, misleads citizens of what is and is not a surplus, and creates distrust with government controlling trusts, and makes a mockery of statements like 'saving social security'.

When a firm or a government takes money out of my (or my working kid's) pension fund for its own spending, and put in non-marketable IOUs to cover their tracks and then brag about how efficient they are, the word is 'siphon'. Should politicians be allowed to siphon from trust funds? I hope more of the public becomes educated on this. Then we will have to see how they would vote regarding agreeing the general government continues to 'siphon' from their pension trust fund and with no budget to pay-back that siphoned-off to date, while at the same time yelling, 'save social security'.

Question: how could federal government politicians and employees in the past claim a general government surplus when total federal debt increased to another record high each year? Answer: despite what they said, they ran deficits not surpluses as they siphoned-off and consumed trust fund surpluses which don't belong to the general government. That practice is equivalent to an attorney siphoning-off money from his elder client's retirement savings and using it for his own personal consumption and credit card payments while claiming he is running a surplus and saving her retirement account. Bottom-line: there never was a surplus. Now they quit talking about surpluses, yet the true deficits are still grossly understated. Gamesmanship continues.

Question #2: if part of the social security taxes (FICA) workers and their employers pay for building a surplus in the trust fund for their retirement is all siphoned-off by the general government as fast as it arrives and consumed for non-pension stuff having zero to do with pensions, how does this 'save social security first?' Answer: it doesn't

Question #3: does the Social Security Trust Fund have any real hard, marketable assets to show for past paid-in surpluses? Answer: It has NO real assets, according to Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill in June 2001. Unlike private pension funds, the trust fund holds zero marketable assets even though workers paid-in cash surpluses. It contains only non-marketable bookkeeping IOUs for which no budget commits their play-back and no cash interest is paid. In 2002 the trust fund took in from social security payroll taxes of workers $596 billion and paid out to seniors about $456 billion - - meaning a cash surplus intake of $140 billion intended for future retirees - - but, every penny of that surplus was siphoned-off and consumed on non-pension stuff, instead of saving it in hard assets for future retirees - - and, more meaningless IOUs were  issued to 'paper-over' the siphon.


I am concerned about rising debt being passed to our younger generation (now an all-time record high), and siphoning-off social security trust fund surpluses to spend on non-pension stuff. This is not the way to 'save social security first' or protect our younger generation and retirees, and certainly it's not the way to improve citizen trust in government.

Remember in the late 1990s when political leaders bragged to the general public "we ran more than $100 billion budget surplus in both calendar years 1998 and 1999?" They also said they wanted to 'save social security'. Listening to such rhetoric citizens might be misled to believe the federal government cut general spending so as to produce general government surpluses, and thereby save social security and reduce total federal debt. But, that was 'smoke & mirrors' - - as they did not tell the full truth, since they really ran an operational deficit (not a surplus) of $282 billion combined in those two years, since total federal debt increased $120 billion in calendar 1998 and increased another $162 billion in calendar year 1999. If one needs new debt to get through a year then a deficit resulted, not a surplus.

What would politicians rather say for calendar years of 1998 and 1999, for example? Did they say they were really smart because they operated several hundred billion in surplus by cutting spending, or or did they admit to running an operational deficit of $282 billion? That combines to misleading the public by about a half trillion dollars. So, how did they design their accounting gimmick? Answer: they siphoned-off from trust funds (social security an other trusts) all $189 billion of trust surpluses in 1998 with another $228 billion siphoned in 1999 to cover their general government operational deficit spending on other things - - and every single penny of two year's of former trust fund cash surpluses totaling $417 billion is gone, gone, gone. And that was just for 1998-99. For 2000 and 2001 they siphoned off another $463 billion from the various trust funds, of which $272 billion came out of the social security trust fund). In 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005,2006 and 2007 such scam practices continued, as seen in the above data trend charts.

(for those using fiscal years instead of calendar years, Treasury Dept. data reports total federal debt increased $113 billion in FY 98 and another $130 billion in FY99 - - totaling $243 billion increase in debt, as debt soared from $5,413,146,011,397.34 at the end of FY97 to $5,656,270,901,615.43 at end of FY99. This proves operations ran a $243 billion deficit those years - - not a surplus. Yet for those two years politicians claimed a $70 billion surplus in FY98 and a $115 billion surplus in FY99 - - totaling $185 billion of claimed surplus. How can they claim $185 billion in combined surplus when debt went up $243 billion - - a huge $428 billion swing? Answer: they siphon-off surpluses from trust funds to cover their deficit spending on other stuff, and they don't count the funds they siphon off trust funds in their budget calculations they announce to their citizens via public media.). By the way, debt increased in 2000 and 2001 by another $151 billion, and those years were also claimed as surplus years.

The above for 1998-99 is provided to show how in the past when most claimed surpluses were achieved, when in fact deficits were created.

Trust in Government and the future of Social Security cannot be advanced by such actions.

For several articles with data this subject, see Trust Fund Report for FY 1999 - FY 2002

How can they say on one hand they want to save social security - while at the same time they raid trust fund surpluses - - and spend it all for non-pension things? How can they claim a budget 'surplus' if at the same time they increase debt? How can they say they want to 'pay-down' debt when they are increasing it?


Do you think we will soon hear the whole story - - the truth - - something like the following?
(we use actual data for 1998 and 1999, since surpluses were claimed those years)

Picture the President, in 2000, going on TV and telling the American people: "We have a new 'truth-in-government policy, more transparency and openness', and that's why I make this address of 9 points - and add a picture-chart at the end:

  1. When at the end of 1998 we told you we ran a $70 billion surplus in fiscal year 1998, and then again at the end of 1999 we told you we ran a $115 billion surplus in 1999, we forgot to also mention federal government debt increased $113 billion in 1998 and the debt total increased another $130 billion in 1999, despite collecting the highest general tax revenue (as a share of the economy) in history. If, instead of using fiscal years we use calendar years, then I must tell you that during calendar year 1999 (12/31/98 to 12/31/99) total debt increased $162 billion, an even higher amount than the $130 billion increase for the12-months ending 9/30/99 for Fiscal year 1999. So, we are moving right along. I'm sure you understand why politicians would rather brag about surpluses than to tell you they really ran operational deficits both years - - not a surplus, and they are using money that's not theirs. (by the way, as an up-date, we must tell you that we increased total debt again in Fiscal Year 2000 and in 2001, and even faster in 2002 - each to new record highs).
  2. If you ask how could we claim a budget surplus of $185 billion (70+115) those two fiscal years when our debt increased $243 billion (113+130), I must come clean and tell you we are sorry you ask that pointed question as that forces me to admit that since debt increased $243 billion in those years this is proof the general government ran a $243 billion deficit in its operations - - not a surplus. That's a $428 billion swing from what we told you - - meaning, claims by political leaders of a hundreds of billions in surpluses was a purposeful mislead (or error) by $428 billion. Some say 'smoke and mirrors' - maybe they are right.
  3. If now you ask from where did we magically get that $428 billion (equivalent to $1600 per man, woman and child in the nation) to cover those two operational deficit years, I must confess that since we wanted to spend more than we had we siphoned-off that amount from in-coming surpluses to various trust funds, including social security. You see, in those years various trust funds received from citizens $428 billion more in cash than needed for current trust fund spending - and, if a trust fund didn't spend it on intended trust fund programs then we arranged for the general government to spend it on other stuff. Yes, some could say it kind of sounds like one spending his grandmother's retirement savings account on himself.
  4. One of the trust funds which we siphoned enough to clean it out was the Social Security Trust Fund - - from which we got over half of the $428 billion we needed to cover operational deficits. If you want to be specific, in just one year, 1999, we took out $109 billion from the social security trust fund - which was 17% more than we took out the prior year - - every penny spent on non-pension things. And, we got a lot from that the prior year, too. Other parts of the total came from other trust funds in FY 98, such as $34 billion of surpluses from the federal employees pension trust, $16 billion from the Federal Disability Trust fund, etc..We got even more in FY99, another $70 billion combined. In FY 1999 we siphoned off a total of $228 billion from all trust funds, of which 78% came out of the three just mentioned. Had we not consumed that $228 billion on general spending the 1999 deficit would have been $228 billion higher than stated. We recognize there are laws in every state against private sector firms siphoning-off their pension trust funds for non-pension spending for consumption and credit by companies, but we in government design things so we can play by different rules.
  5. Yes, I know you might say that when you and your employer paid FICA social security taxes via payroll deductions last year you thought any surplus of such taxes over and above what the trust fund had to pay-out in pensions to current retirees would be kept safe and arms-length in free & clear marketable assets for future retirees in such a way that you workers (and your children) would not have to again pay those funds. I recognize it is possible you thought we would never raid trust funds for spending on other stuff, especially since we were telling you social security has big financial problems looming in the near future and we had been yelling 'save social security first'. But, I'm embarrassed to tell you that those trust fund surpluses were just too tempting - - and so we spent it all on non-pension stuff, and its all gone - - and that's how we 'save social security first.' If you ever want us to pay that back to the trusts then I must tell you that we don't have the money, its all gone, and you and your children will either have to pay it to us again in even higher taxes and/or let us borrow those amounts again creating even higher debt loads for your kids to cover. That extra FICA you are paying is in effect a hidden income tax to enable us to spend it on other stuff without counting that spending in the budget deficit calculations.
  6. By the way, to come clean you should know that the amount we siphoned from the trust funds last year was not only a new all-time record high and 13% more than the prior year but it was 118% above 1991 - - and, we plan to siphon-off another new record high in following years. In fact, if our Treasury Department's data are correct, in the 7-year period 1991-99 we siphoned off and consumed $1.1 trillion from the trust funds (including $507 billion from the Social Security Trust, itself a 198% increase). That $1.1 trillion total from all trusts is about $4,100 per man, woman and child - or about $16,400 per family of 4. Additionally, projections show plans to siphon another $2.5 trillion (another $40,000 per family of 4) between now and the time the trust goes bust. I thought you might like to know that. (adding siphon amounts of the period prior to 1991 to the $1.1 trillion siphoned-off since 1991 shows to date the general government has siphoned-off and consumed (on other stuff) $2 trillion from those trusts - including from other trust funds (such as highway trust, railroad trust, unemployment trust, etc.). The net grand total siphoned-off to-date is now up to $4 trillion, as the first chart shows - which on a per-capita basis works out to $13,300 per man, woman and child - - or $53,000 per family of 4).
  7. But, I want you to know that we put some non-marketable IOUs in the trusts fund box to cover our tracks of dipping in your cookie jar in case you look in there. Yes, I know we don't have any money to pay back those IOUs, in fact we don't even have a published plan to pay it back - - but one day (maybe, and hopefully after I have left political office) someone will raise tax rates - - or float some more debt on the backs of your kids to cover our butts for those IOUs - - and also cut benefits tremendously for your own retirement or just go broke, so as to cover up our tracks. And, guess what? The Federal Reserve Bank doesn't even recognize those internal IOUs as official debt because they are not marketable and because there is no official budget plan to pay it off. If you borrowed against your own (or your mother's) private pension and spent it all to pay for your current life-style what would be available come old age? Well, that's what we did to your trust funds). Any way, the real free & clear money you paid in for your future has been spent for other things, and any interest we think we should pay on those IOUs is not in cash but just a few more IOUs. Neat plan.
  8. You have heard some call the trust fund a pay as you go system, when it is actually you pay more than the trust needs because we told you future retirees might need some surplus, but we spend all the surplus as fast as it comes on other stuff right now - - and let your kids figure it out later. We didn't think we need tell you that we never fund our trust funds with real arms-length marketable assets with fixed maturates and plan to repay, as we require of private sector pension funds by law. Meanwhile we are telling you the social security trust fund is going to be in trouble with the approaching baby boomers (and it is), with hopes you will agree to less benefits and higher FICA tax rates to create even more short-term surplus for our siphon activities, so we can do even more non-pension spending to make us look like we care, so you will keep us in office. We just can't say NO.
  9. My last point of openness is: please don't mis-understand us when we told you we had a surplus of billions - - because 'now you know the whole story' - - but, what are you going to do about it?

I hope you appreciate our new attempt to be more open, and I hope you don't ask me why we didn't tell you the full story the first time or ask when we will stop siphoning out of the trust funds or pay-back that taken out to-date so we can really save social security, or ask if we in Washington would go to jail if we engaged in this pension fund siphon practice for private sector trust funds - - as such questions fall under our 'don't-ask-don't-tell policy."


Although the above is a satirical presentation, the numbers are real (right out of the U.S. Treasury Dept. published accounts, such as ftp://ftp.publicdebt.treas.gov/). You will note that I use the word "siphon-off" for spending trust fund surpluses for non-trust fund purposes, while Senator Ernest Hollings calls it "looting the trust", and Mr. Bartlett (formerly of Treasury) calls it "raiding the trust". Take your pick.


Raiding Mother's Retirement Account. Is that OK?

What the federal government is doing with the social security trust fund is equivalent to an elderly person's lawyer siphoning-off all cash surplus money from her pension savings account which she had labored to set aside, and the lawyer spending all for his own consumption - - while bragging that he is running a surplus for himself, and doing this in order to save her retirement account for her benefit. That lawyer also likes to brag he may use some of her retirement funds to pay-down debt he owes to others, such as his credit cards. Whose surplus savings was it - - his or his elderly client's? Would you say that lawyer is responsible and trustworthy, and exercising proper fiduciary actions? What should be done about him?

What would happen to officers of a company if they siphoned-off funds in an employee's pension trust account and spent it on their own things including some to reduce the firm's own debt to others? Answer: that's against the law in every state.

I don't think many parents and grandparents want today's youngsters saddled with more IOUs and camouflage. So, why is the general government siphoning off retirement trust funds for non-pension use? Why do we allow it?


Although it sounds nice when a politician proposes spending 'so-called surpluses' on things like more teachers, the public must be told it's not lotto money or free money that just grew on a tree - - and, its not theirs to spend - - its funds intended by workers to be held in trust for future retirees - - its real cash money paid in by workers and their employers for their own retirement - - and spending it all today robs future retirees and generations.

I BELIEVE

  1. The majority of citizens would never accept trust fund surpluses (intended for future retirees) being consumed for other stuff, especially since such practice is illegal for private sector pension funds. (government should play by the same rules it orders upon the private sector. After all, pensions are pensions - - and trusts should be trusted - - so, pension trusts in the government sector should be fully funded to include only free & clear, arms-length assets which are fully marketable and registered in the private sector, and which the trust alone can convert to cash without any dependence on government).
  2. The general public does not accept (or recognize) that publicly-reported budget deficits are in fact camouflaged by spending trust fund money - and not telling the full story in the open. Budget 'surplus/deficit' reports should never include figures for funds that were siphoned from trust fund surpluses.
  3. The general public believes trust funds should own free & clear assets marketable to the public that can be cashed-out for future retirees without causing any future increase in debt or tax rates for them and following generations - just as required of private pension funds - as that's why citizens sent in the extra money - to be used in the future, not spent today on other stuff or camouflage deficits and other spending.
  4. The public should demand the general government stop siphoning-off and spending trust fund surpluses on other stuff, plus the general budget must include a repayment budget schedule to replace non-marketable IOUs with hard cash for that which has been siphoned-off to-date, by reducing general government (non trust) spending plans - and do that as a first priority concerning changes to the SS system to 'save social security first'. This approach should be for all trust funds, including social security trust, federal employee pension trust, federal medical trust, etc.
  5. The trust fund must contain ONLY hard assets (not internal government IOUs) which are fully marketable in the public arena, and are without government interference. If the trust fund wishes to invest some of its hard cash in government T-Bonds or T-Bills, for example, it would purchase these in the open public market, or at auction, just as do private citizens, and those T-Bonds and T-Bills are naturally fully registered by the Federal Reserve and exactly like those bought and sold by the public at large. When the trust fund wishes to sell any asset it would do so in the public market, just as when a private citizen sells his T-Bond or other asset. This approach also would stop the general government from including trust fund surpluses when it calculates its budget deficit or surplus for each year or projecting the future, thereby giving the public at large a better understanding of general government financial standings - - and, when the government brags about some future budget surplus then such figures would be only for surpluses expected by the general government, not including surpluses of trust funds. If the general government is able to project surpluses from its own (non trust fund) accounts, then it can consider what to do with those surpluses, such as either general tax rate cuts or speeding up the schedule to pay-back to the trust funds that siphoned off to date - - and once its debt to the trust fund has been satisfied in full, then it could start paying down its own general debt owed to the public.
  6. If government cannot keep its hands off spending trust fund surpluses on other stuff and does not schedule repayment of the siphon activities with clean, publicly marketable assets, then it should stop asking workers to send in those surpluses by a large FICA tax rate cut so workers can do a bit more for their own savings - - arms-length.
  7. The practices discussed here provide another big reason for citizens not to trust government. (The Trust in Government Report has a color picture of long-term trends of trust).
  8. Such practices also most likely impact voter turn-out (as shown in the Voter Turn-Out Report), at an all-time low - as citizens feel helpless.
  9. And - since the Social Security Report ,in picture form, shows the remarkable increase in load on young workers as compared to today's retirees when they were working, dare we further increase their load and that of their children by allowing the 'siphon-and-spend game' to continue and not be paid back from true general spending cuts?

Maybe a respected public official will go on TV and tell the American people the whole story. Telling it will not fix anything over night, but it might start the ball rolling to restore confidence and get on with a meaningful fix with full transparency and openness.


CONSIDER THIS:
"egregious misconduct by the federal government," says US Judge, regarding trust fund - August 1999
Is the following not relevant to trust funds in general?

"I have never seen more egregious misconduct by the federal government," said U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth - as he ordered payment of $625,000 for the "disobedience" of Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and former Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin in withholding documents of a lawsuit involving the mismanagement of Indian trust funds.

Judge Lamberth had sought the records and other materials involving more than 300,000 individual accounts and 2,000 tribal accounts managed by the Interior and Treasury departments. The departments manage money from, among other sources, land settlements, royalties from minerals and other resources, and companies that use Indian land. Officials have not produced accounting records or statements to verify how much cash has been collected. An audit by the accounting firm Arthur Andersen said the Bureau of Indian Affairs could not account for $2.4 billion in transactions involving the funds. (see article By Jerry Seper, 8/11/99, front page of THE WASHINGTON TIMES)

The above begs the question: if such willful misbehavior can occur involving the government's handling of Indian trust funds, why should citizens not raise the question of concern regarding other trust funds, such as the Social Security Trust Fund - - especially considering the general government and the Treasury Dept. control the books?

The Trust Fund Report, starting at the top of this page at http://grandfather-economic-report.com/deficit-trusts.htm, describes in easy-to-understand terms the way the general government siphons-off all incoming surpluses of the social security trust fund (and other trust funds) and spends it all on other stuff having zero to do with the trust funds - - putting non-marketable IOUs in the trust fund to paper-over their dipping in the 'cookie jar' - - siphoning while yelling, 'save social security,' with no budget plan to pay back that siphoned-off to-date. Last year the government claimed a budget surplus, but they counted trust fund surpluses as if it were their own - - while in fact the general government ran a deficit, not a surplus.

UPDATE > As of Jan 2008 the present value of un-funded Social Security and Medicare spending has risen to $99.2 Trillion (see debt summary report).

The general government should keep its hands out of the trust fund 'cookie jars', and start budgeting reduced general spending to pay-back that siphoned from trust funds to date.


I hope the media will work harder to broadcast the issue,
to help more citizens become more knowledgeable.

Thanks for reading.


Acknowledgments and Links

I would like to thank Professor Gerald Dwyer of Clemson and the FRB for his unsolicited February 1999 review of the material on this page, including his statement: 'I like your discussion of the "surplus." It's very pointed and quite correct.' You can view a summary of one of his own publications via the Federal Reserve Bank's Economic Review titled 'The Federal Government's Budget Surplus: Cause for Celebration?'(a pdf file) at http://www.atl.frb.org/publica/eco-rev/rev_abs/3rd98.html .

This author wishes to commend Senator Ernest Hollings for his efforts to broadcast his concerns in this area, such as reported February 5, 1999 in the N.Y.Times - 'Dipping into the Social Security Bank'. The thrust of the Senator's article was on the mark in his call to 'stop looting the trust fund for spending programs'.

AND, FINALLY AN HONEST CONFIRMATION

Do you need more confirmation that trust fund surpluses are gone? Finally, we have a top official honest enough in public confirming the accuracy of this report: 'Social Security Trust Fund has NO Real Assets', per Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill on June 10, 2001.

Additionally, I want to commend Thomas Smith for his review of the page you are now viewing and expanding same in more detail in his report, 'Fixing Social Security - Just Another Fraud'.

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