The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Confusion on Social Security and Medicare? You Might Believe Such

Andrew Rei Andrew Rei

There seems to be some confusion....

I've been writing and saying for a long time that Social Security and Medicare have nothing to do with the deficit and debt. However, that's not completely true. It's half-true and I'm explaining why right now. 
Over the past 2.5 years, I've written several posts and comments regarding the Fascist GOP talking point/propaganda about SS and Medicare adding to the deficit. Even Ronald Reagan famously said that they don't have anything to do with the deficit and debt. But, then, he went out and did something that did make them a part of the deficit and debt: he "borrowed" $500 billion from the Social Security Trust Fund (SSTF), from which SS and Medicare benefits are paid, to finance his deficit-spending. Reagan was the first of four US Presidents in a row that "raided" the SSTF to pay for deficit-spending. Sadly, President Clinton did, as well, but, he remains the only President to "pay it back" by raising the SS income tax "cap". 

The biggest offender in raiding the fund was Bush 43. In early 2003, with one war and one coming plus tax breaks already in effect, Bush 43 and his party knew that they had to be financed somehow. At that time, there was more than $6 trillion in the SSTF. So, Bush 43 and his party raided the SSTF for $2.75 TRILLION to finance all of that deficit spending. In order to avoid being charged with grand larceny, Bush 43 and his Fascist acolytes left "Treasury Bonds" as "I.O.U.'s". To this day, those bonds are still drawing interest, which means that the SSTF is owed more than $4 TRILLION. It is that interest that's adding to the deficit. 

But, here's how the statement at the top is half-true: we are not borrowing money to pay Social Security and Medicare benefits. That's a pathetic Fascist GOP talking point and the GOP use it to justify their secret plan to abolish both programs, thereby leaving the money left over in the SSTF to be redistributed upwards to the wealthy and big corporate masters of the GOP in tax breaks. 

So, yes, the SSTF is a CREDITOR of our national debt. But, there's something you must realize: only about 15% of the current $17 trillion debt is owned by "foreign interests", like China and foreign citizens, etc. Just 15%...the rest is "internal", owned by other governmental agencies who had their funds raided and American citizens. But, what do the Fascist GOP propagandists say, "we're borrowing money from China to pay our bills". That may be true for other programs, but, as for Medicare and Social Security, they are not being financed by debt. The SSTF is a CREDITOR and still has enough money in it to pay full benefits through 2037 and 75% afterwards. 


Since I wrote the part above this sentence more than three months ago, the response I'm getting from Seniors is that, "Meh...I won't be alive 20 years from now, so I'm only worried about the here and now". 

Here's why that's pathetic....and dangerous. it seems that Seniors don't realize the GOP's real plan for Social Security and Medicare. While the GOP say that spending on Social Security and Medicare benefits drives up the debt (debunked above), what they REALLY want to do is to abolish both programs and take whatever money is left over in the SSTF and distribute it to their greedy and Fascist wealthy and big corporate masters via tax breaks. If we're stupid enough to give the GOP supermajorities in both Houses of Congress as a result of the elections later this year, that's EXACTLY what they'll do. 

Listen, people, especially if you're near, at or past retirement age: the GOP doesn't give a flying f*ck about you. As a matter of fact, the GOP considers you to be "Useful Idiots" because you vote for them (if you vote for them). I'm a "Tail-End" Boomer (born in 1964) the time I and the other Tail-Enders reach the current retirement age, 65, it'll be 2029. More than 70 million Boomers will be alive and retired. This will put a strain on the Social Security Trust Fund, if it still exists then. That's the reason why something must be done starting very soon so that the SSTF is still there when the Tail-Enders and Post-Boomers reach retirement age. Pre-Boomers and older Boomers worked hard and paid into the SSTF for years. The way to stop the GOP from using the SSTF as a "piggy bank" for their deficit-spending is to make sure they don't have the power to do it. That means putting as many Democrats into Congress as possible. The Democrats want to save Social Security and also want to give Social Security beneficiaries a raise in benefits. They would accomplish this by raising the income tax "cap" so that the wealthy and big corporations pay what they should into the SSTF. 

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