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This is why they are fighting so hard to not have to pay you what you yourself put into Social Security! This is why there might just be a 'shortfall' ... How else were they going to pay for the Wars they never funded with any taxes.

I hope this is understandable, it is taken from a local Letter-to-Editor. The writer explains how these facts and numbers are taken from a report the Republicans themselves ordered! ...and the "Republicans won't like this report."

So in the following, quotes are from the Republican Joint Economic Committee report titled "Social Security Surpluses: Fiscal Fact or Accounting Fiction?"

To begin, you need to remember that the deduction for SocSec payroll tax (FICA) is split 50/50 between you, the worker, and your employer. (But, in actuality, the employer's share is ultimately passed on to you workers easily in the form of lower wages.)
 Workers pay FICA taxes for one purpose, their retirement, to be returned to them as Social Security.

BUT "When individuals pay in Social Security payroll taxes, the money goes into the General Fund of the Treasury along with all other taxes."

This gives the GOP, e.g. party-backed by-the-rich, access to our middle class retirement funds.

"When Social Security has a cash-flow surplus (when more is coming in that being paid out) Social Security taxes are 'available' to pay for other programs."

The Republican report says: "Treasury should have $6.5 trillion in surplus FICA taxes but has only $2.6 trillion." This deficit exists because Republicans borrowed trillions in FICA taxes to offset tax cuts for the rich, and fund Bush's unnecessary wars.

Your Social Security Fund is owed this money back by its borrowers, the Republicans.  We middle class are left holding an IOU, eg U.S. debt, the mega-rich got your money and spent it.

It is the writer's feeling, and I agree, Republicans loath Social Security, forgetting it is your money not theirs.  They ignore their own misuse of $4 trillions in FICA taxes while calling Social Security an "unfunded claim." They oppose raising any taxes to repay our Social Security because "having the authority to pay benefits is not the same as having the money to pay benefits."

Only one thing stopped the Romney-Republicans from completely bankrupting your Social Security: The re-election of President Obama.

Now lets get to work and get rid of more of these Republicans so we can get our own money back in Social Security! Please share this, especially, with seniors and others nearing retirment.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (16+ / 0-)

    Proud to be part of the 21st Century Democratic Majority Party of the 3M's.. Multiracial,Multigender and MiddleClass

    by LOrion on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:26:02 PM PST

  •  Wars and Banks nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hoghead99, ExStr8

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:27:20 PM PST

  •  What? Those wars were supposed to (8+ / 0-)

    pay for themselves. And we saved sooo much money by using contractors.

    Do I need to add a snark tag?

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:40:11 PM PST

  •  yep. all there is to it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    of and of course their tax cut

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:43:19 PM PST

  •  will look forward to your analysis in 2 months (0+ / 0-)

    I think he's going to try to get that Catfood thing through. I could be wrong, we'll see.

  •  Off base (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NewDealer, Bruce Webb

    Your analysis  is off base.  

    It was realized that money needed to be set aside for the retirement of the baby boomer generation.  The Greenspan commission back during the Reagan administration set up the program of increased SS taxes, passed by Congress and Signed by the President, to collect taxes in excess of current needs then and invest the money for the time the baby boomers retire...about now.  What would you have them do with this excess money?...bales of hundreds moldering away in a warehouse or what?  The excess funds are invested in the world's savest investment, United States treasury bonds.  These paid $114 billion interest to Social Security in 2011.

    Of course this invested money is in the general fund used for wars, hurricane recovery, jet fuel, food stamps, and every thing our guv'm'nt spends money on.  And the money will be repaid when the bonds need to be redeemed to pay SS benefits.  The rub is that the cash to redeem these bonds will have to come from higher taxes, or more borrowing, or decreased spending.  We all know where the Republicans stand on those.  (Increase spending to campaign contributors, cut my taxes, cut your benefits.)  Republicans would prefer to cut benefits now to put off this day of reckoning.

    Where the report says that there "should" be $6.5B in the trust fund means that much is needed to meet obligations without tax increases or benefit cuts, NOT that the money used to be there and was stolen.

    •  Bottom line to all that is (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dskoe, shpilk, shypuffadder, irate, jbob, unfangus

      they borrowed to to pay for wars and stuff and now its inconvenient to repay it.  They might have to raise taxes to do it.  Problem is that money came out of the pockets of working class folks and the taxes would come out of other folks pockets.

    •  If the general fund is running annual Trillion (0+ / 0-)

      deficits, at some point investors will stop buying Treasuries so we can roll over the debt and retire it.  At that point, we must cut benefits, our permanent extension of the Bush Tax Cuts pretty much guarantee that scenario.

      •  If the deficits were limited to $999 billion we (0+ / 0-)

        should be ok then, right?

        "Democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ---'Fighting Bob' LaFollette

        by leftreborn on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:14:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, but... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        unfangus, splashy

        1--No one is suggesting trillion dollar deficits forever.  We must decrease the deficit.  The question is how to do that.  Austerity can't work.  It has never worked any time in history anywhere in the world.  The only thing that works is to increase GDP--get more people working at higher pay, and they'll pay more taxes and require fewer entitlements.  We need middle class tax increases based on higher middle class incomes, not higher rates for working folks.  Yes, tax the rich more, but there still aren't enough of them to solve the problem.

        2--Nothing is permanent.  The tax rates can be changed by a vote of Congress and signed by the President any time in the future.

        •  We have not changed tax rates in 12 years so I (0+ / 0-)

          would not hold my breathe.  We have an 18%  revenue rate which leaves two options, DEEP spending cuts or perpetual deficits which eventually will drive our interest rates through the roof. Hold on to your hats,it is going to be a bumpy ride.

    •  Agree till: "higher taxes, or more borrowing, or (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      decreased spending."  I wrote a diary on this topic around 4-6 weeks ago.  The language you used in this sentence beginning, "The rub is that the cash . . . " is pretty close the language that Paul Ryan used in his budget resolution which was passed in the House last March.  

      If you borrowed two dollars from Paul and it was time to repay him according to the agreement you made with him, and you borrowed two dollars from Peter to pay Paul, how much debt will you have after Paul is paid?  

      The answer is two dollars.  The owner of debt was transferred from Paul to Peter and the amount is still two dollars.  You may wish to call the shifting of the debt "more borrowing" and the unclear imprecise nature of the English language would conspire with you to result in confusion.  True that borrowing from Peter to pay Paul is more borrowing.  In referring to fiscal matters involving trillions of dollars we have to more precise than than.  Some readers may interpret "more borrowing" to mean more lending and a larger debt because omitted from the story is the detail that Paul was repaid and the two dollar debt owed to him was retired.

      "Democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ---'Fighting Bob' LaFollette

      by leftreborn on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:12:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  One guess how that "decreased spending" (0+ / 0-)

      will be implemented: they're already talking about a "need to have a conversation on entitlements". In fact, I think I heard the President utter a phrase very like that the other day.

      We boomers uncomplainingly kept paying into Social Security back in the day mentioned in this diary when it more or less doubled, to help pay for our own keep instead of putting more of a burden on our posterity.

      I suppose most of us will not complain when it turns out that we will instead be thrown out onto our posteriors.

      Moderation in most things.

      by billmosby on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:11:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  How is it possible that i used to think (6+ / 0-)

    that Carlin was a tad over the edge,
    a bit hyperbolic...

    •  Because he was, and we were in denial. lol. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mama jo

      He was always delightfully over the edge. The joke was that reality was also over the edge, and we were in denial about it. But it was a great ride while it lasted.

      Moderation in most things.

      by billmosby on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:13:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Report doesn't say that (0+ / 0-)

    "Treasury should have $6.5 trillion in surplus FICA taxes but has only $2.6 trillion." This deficit exists because Republicans borrowed trillions in FICA taxes to offset tax cuts for the rich, and fund Bush's unnecessary wars.

    No, no, no. The Report says that actual cash flow surpluses to the Trust Fund were .65 trillion ($650 billion). It also says that 'unfunded liability' is $6.5 trillion. The fact that these two numbers both include '65' is a coincidence, they are not in fact related. And the so-called 'unfunded liability' is a purely theoretical calculation of the difference between benefits due under the 'schedule' and projected benefits 'payable', if anything it is the OPPOSITE of excess borrowings.

    If you want to confirm any or all of this you can examine the following table from the 2012 Report which tracks operations of the Trust Funds from 1957 to date and more to the point from their essentially zero point in 1982 through the 1983 legislation coming out of the Greenspan Commission (that created the $2.7 trillion current Trust Fund balance) to 2011.

    Take the first column 'Total income' and subtract the fifth column 'Net interest' and the sixth column 'Total cost' and you get net cash flow for the year (the only thing that can actually be borrowed and spent for other purposes). Total up all that cash flow from 1983 to 2011 and you wont' get anything close to $6.5 trillion. In fact if I am reading the Report back you would coincidentally come up with a total of $0.65 trillion, putting the quoted figure (which isn't actually a quote) off by a factor of 10.

    The Report itself is full of weasel language and designed to be mis-read. And unfortunately you did. Doubly so in that you are quoting passages that are both numerically not true but near as I can see not actually included in the Report.

    The overall thrust and intent of your post is right on. But the factual flaws totally undermine its impact for those who follow the data tables. - SocSec.Defender at - founder DK Social Security Defenders group - (hmm is there a theme emerging here?)

    by Bruce Webb on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 09:04:11 PM PST

    •  Yes, you are probably right. (0+ / 0-)

      I was paraphrasing and took his assessment as correct. Still we have NOT paid for the Wars.

      Proud to be part of the 21st Century Democratic Majority Party of the 3M's.. Multiracial,Multigender and MiddleClass

      by LOrion on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 06:54:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes, yes, yes! (0+ / 0-)

    Shout it from the mountaintops.

  •  Huh?? (0+ / 0-)
    The Republican report says: "Treasury should have $6.5 trillion in surplus FICA taxes but has only $2.6 trillion."
    The treasury doesn't have either amount of money - it's ALL been spent and long out of the door (what is envisioned here - warehouses full of $100 bills like they sent out in cargo transport planes to Iraq or a Goldfinger era Fort Knox full of gold bullion?).  

    What they do have is accounting constructs that this money is OWED to the trust fund (which is part of the US Government) by another arm of the US Government.   IOW, nothing tangible at all.

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