SOCIAL SECURITY AND THE BUDGETJan 26th, 2013 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Social Security & Medicare
Social Security Does NOT Cause Budget Issues
For those of you who are regular visitors on seniorcitizenjournal.com, this article will be no surprise to you. We’ve been writing about Social Security and the federal deficit for a couple of years now. Social Security does not create problems for the federal budget, and it does not contribute to the federal deficit.
A recent AARP article delineated the following:
- Social Security is not the cause of America’s budget deficit. In fact, it’s a self-financed program that’s separate from the federal budget. Workers and employers finance the Social Security program by paying a 6.2% payroll tax.
- Social Security still has a large surplus. Its trust funds hold $2.8 trillion in special-issue Treasury bonds. These assets are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.
- The trust funds can only be used to pay Social Security benefits. (AARP Blog)
So what’s the problem?
Politicians Cause Budget Deficits
The problem is that some politicians in Washington are trying to fix the deficit by cutting back on benefits for senior citizens. And they are trying to fool us into believing the problem lies with Social Security. That is just not true, and we need to tell our politicians to stop trying to balance the budget on our backs.
In fact, senators and representatives vote on how our tax money is spent. In the last decade, they voted to fund a decade-long war, a military to fight that war and tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. A recent post in The Week said “The biggest culprit? The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts under then-president George W. Bush, says the Associated Press. They have added an estimated $1.6 trillion to the national debt. It’s pretty clear, says Brian Beutler at Talking Points Memo, that Bush-era policies, ‘particularly debt-financed tax cuts,’ make up “the lion’s share of the problem.” And they’re ongoing, so the tab for them builds every year.” (The Week, July 22, 2011)
We need to be talking with our senators and representatives on a regular basis, and not let up until they take their hands off our Social Security lifeline. We need to tell them they should be looking at preserving our retirement security, not only for us, but also for younger generations. Employer pensions are diminishing and millions in GenX and beyond are facing an uncertain financial picture in their retirement.
President Reagan said, “Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit.” Our politicians need to understand that, and we apparently need to help them since they cannot seem to see that picture on their own.