Personal accounts–forget it, eat cake

Personal accounts–forget it, eat cake

By Ed Henry

President George W. Bush has released his 10-year budget plan. Not only does he intend to continue paying down the national debt with your Social Security money, but he’s dead set against “personal accounts” for anyone except government employees. So much for what was only mentioned lightly toward the end of debates between him and Gore during his two-year election campaign. Just a sales pitch.

Titled “A Blueprint For New Beginnings,” here are some quotes from the early Part III Section; “Overview of the President’s 10-Year Budget Plan.”

After explaining that he’s going to “set aside” Social Security profit-overpayments for everything except paying down the investor (honest borrowing) side of the debt, and why they can’t really eliminate all of it, there appears a statement about what to do with the rest of the booty stolen from entitlements:

“If not left with taxpayers through lower taxes or committed to important new priorities, such as national defense or Social Security reform, remaining funds beyond those usable for debt retirement would have to be invested in private assets. The Administration believes that government acquisition of the private economy is utterly unacceptable as a matter of principle. Further, the Administration agrees with Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan that government investment of these uncommitted funds in private companies and securities would harm the economy’s long-run growth prospects.”

Are they nuts? Where do they get this: “would have to be invested in private assets”? It could be put in a real trust fund just like the Thrift Savings Plan that they carry for themselves and two million federal employees. Real trust funds are lock-boxes. If nothing else, the Thrift Savings Plan proves that they can do it, when they want to. Then they could pay Social Security real annual interest with cash, like they pay the investors on the side of the debt that they want to knock down.

If this had been done in 1983, or even earlier when surpluses were minor, Social Security would have a $1.016 trillion contingency fund right now, today. Instead, the Social Security mistrust fund accounts for 18 percent of the national debt. That’s right, we gave them money. They gave us debt. Debt you or your children must someday redeem. It’s the pay-it-again, Sam double taxation, with interest.

And just how do you suppose George W. intends to set up his $1.4 trillion “contingency” fund? The only way to carry cash from one fiscal year to another is through a real trust fund. The government needs contingency funding like it needs another hole in the head. It’s asinine. They’ve always had a mechanism to raise billions overnight. It’s called deficit borrowing, but oh, my, they’ve taught you that this emergency mechanism is evil, right?

Remember, the only reform Social Security needs is to make the government stop stealing its funds. Stop stealing them for any purpose whatsoever, even honorable things like retiring debt or saving children in Albania.

Everybody is in favor of getting rid of the national debt, but not at the expense of our retirement, health care, highways, airports and other entitlements. And especially, not since the government has done absolutely nothing to cut back on its own wasteful spending. Let them get frugal for a change.

As if the above statement were not enough, the early stages of this plan also continue with the following statement:

“Second, the amount of debt retirement that is feasible is already far exceeded by projected Social Security surpluses. Adding a new requirement to run larger surpluses would only put us on a clearer path toward investing excess balances in the private economy, something that the Administration, Chairman Greenspan and most Americans oppose on both philosophical and economic grounds.”

Are you one of the Americans against making some sort of return on your extra Social Security payments? Against making something instead of going 130 percent in the hole? Opposed to private accounts on “philosophical and economic grounds.” Aren’t they putting words in your mouth, again?

And notice that your government is actually worried about what to do with all the extra money they intend to steal from Social Security, as well as other entitlements, over the next 10 years. Extra money that will be still be coming in and “on hand” after they’ve paid down the Investor (honest contract) side of the national debt. At least, paid it down as far as they can. Some long term investors are going to hold the government to the deal until their contracts mature.

Believe it or not, this extra money problem of the future is a subject of lengthy discussion with the current Senate Budget Committee meetings currently underway. Do you still believe that the crafty Beltway Bandits can’t plan far ahead with schemes of how to rob you further? They are experts at it.

Remember two things. First, what they’re talking about paying down is only the portion of the debt where they must pay annual interest in real cash. Real interest money, paid out of the Treasury’s General Fund every year instead of the bogus nonmarketable nonsense bonds they stuff into entitlement trust funds every year, calling it interest and pushing you deeper into debt.

Secondly, they are absolutely ignoring the fact that bogus bonds are deposited in the Social Security Trust Fund dollar-for-dollar for every bit they steal. Thus, the other side of the debt goes up equally. Add annual interest, and this side leaps ahead even if it isn’t a real cash interest payment. They’re simply moving debt from one credit card to another in order to save six cents in real interest with every dollar of Social Security money stolen.

I know, some of the good hearts at places like the CATO Institute or the Concord Coalition, people who have been pushing for the privatization of Social Security in total or at least in some form, are probably now hanging on to threads. They can probably look at the statements above and say that it still doesn’t mean that George W. won’t put personal accounts in a private sector trust fund where the government wouldn’t really be handling the money. He could still do this for young workers at least.

I pray that they might be right. And I’ve got to admit that I haven’t read the complete 175-page budget plan yet. I just haven’t had the heart. Maybe there’s still some hope buried in there someplace. I’ll let you know once I’ve screwed up enough courage to read further.

Meanwhile, you should take a look at The Oligarchy Speaks if you want to fully understand what your government has been up to in the last two or three years.

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