From the February 2005 Idaho Observer:

The federal plot to "save" Social Security

by The Idaho Observer

It is trendy for Congress and the president to discuss their plans to save Social Security. Generally absent from their plans is an explanation for why Social Security needs to be saved.

Unlike government retirement accounts that are flush and growing nicely with the help of investment brokers, the people’s retirement accounts, as generated from monthly automatic deductions from their paychecks, are not being managed by stockbrokers. Instead, the Social Security Trust fund and the individual retirement accounts to which Americans have been dutifully (albeit non-voluntarily) contributing their entire working lives, have been pilfered by Congress.

According to the Campaign to Save Social Security and Medicare (CSSS), a group lobbying to reform Social Security by making it against the law for Congress to steal Social Security Trust funds, claims that $1.38 trillion of American workers’ retirement dollars have been "spent" since 1968.

Listing the amounts of money Congress has stolen from the trust fund during certain time periods is quite revealing:

Year Amount stolen

1999: 124.7 billion

2000: 151.8 billion

2001: 163.0 billion

2002: 159.0 billion

2003: 155.6 billion

From 1968-1985, "just" $5 billion was taken. It was as if Congress dipped its hand in our cookie jar and pulled out a few crumbs each year to see if we would notice.

Apparently satisfied that Americans were not looking, Congress raped Social Security for $619 billion during the 12-year period of 1986-1998.

Completely satisfied that the American people were either too trusting or too busy to question their disappearing Social Security trust funds, Congress stole a whopping $754 billion from America’s retirements during the five-year period 1999-2003.

CSSS is pushing for passage of S.689—the Social Security Lockbox law.

The president says that by 2018, Social Security will be paying out more than it takes in.

Last fall, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who has no authority over Social Security, recommended Congress begin cutting "benefits" as a measure to help cut government spending. This is a slap in the face to Americans whose Social Security retirements place them into abject poverty whereas government employees generally retire comfortably into middle class.

At no time has Congress, the president or Greenspan suggested that the money forcefully deducted from their wages be returned to the American people.

The closest thing to a plan coming from President Bush is to create individual accounts for individual workers so that they will get out of Social Security what they put in. Again, there is no mention made of government paying the people back, with or without interest, on the money that has been taken from them.

There is also no indication that S. 2018 will ever be approved by Congress and signed into law by the president.

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