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More About: Social Security

Great Letter About the Imaginery Social Security Trust Fund

Not Much Has Changed With Social Security

There never has been a single penny in the Social Security trust fund.

The Wall Street Journal, June 14, 2018 5:47 p.m. ET

I say balderdash to Charles Blahous ("The Social Security Trust Fund Goes Bust," op-ed, June 8). There never has been a single penny in the Social Security trust fund, and he knows it. Since its inception in 1935, all funds collected that weren't disbursed to beneficiaries each year were converted into federal IOUs known as special-issue Treasury bonds. By law, the fund could do nothing else. The money itself was spent by our feckless (a popular word just now) politicians.

Until quite recently there was enough coming in to pay expenses but now the chickens are coming home to roost. As expenses exceed revenue, the feds can either expand the money supply to pay the bills, thus debasing our currency, or else either raise taxes or cut benefits. The latter two options are unpalatable to our craven political elites because they would get voted out of office, if the folks with torches and pitchforks didn't get them first.

Had we taken a page from our neighbors to the north and kept the fund independent and able to invest in real assets rather than government paper, we would not need to have this conversation now. Imagine if, back in the day, the fund could have invested in Google,Microsoft or Amazon.

The funds have always been just an accounting gimmick. The emperor hasn't had any clothes for many a year, and now his subjects are about to see him in all his naked glory.

Robert Caldemeyer

Cincinnati

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