Finally, a word of sense about the Social Security Trust Fund from a mainstream financial columnist:
And, no, the [Social Security Trust Fund] could not have been invested elsewhere. First, it would have overwhelmed the private investment markets. (Scott Burns, The “Truth” about Social Security)
What he’s talking about: The Social Security Trust Fund was a hoax even when Alan Greenspan started it. It represents money the government “borrowed” from itself and then spent.
It’s like spending from my retirement account and then putting IOUs in my wallet. Those IOUs are worthless; they are not an asset. The Social Security Trust Fund is the same thing; it has no value.
But you say, “The government could have saved the money…” Um, yeah, holding $2,300,000,000,000 ($2.3 trillion) means deflation. Then spending it down would be inflationary.
Or it could have invested $2,300,000,000,000–meaning the government owns $2,300,000,000,000 of the “private” economy. That’s called a state-controlled economy, run by the same geniuses who brought us drivers’ license offices.
Even a 50%/50% compromise is bad: $1,150,000,000,000 in withheld cash and $1,150,000,000,000 of government-owned economy.
Social Security is, by necessity, a “pay as you go” system. There is no way to save for the future. If Social Security costs too much, then we’ve over-promised.
The Social Security Trust Fund hoax isn’t left vs. right, regressive vs. progressive, Republican vs. Democrat. This is truth vs. lying.