President Bush has released his 10-year rip-off–for dummies
By Ed Henry
By Ed Henry
Suppose you went to your bank to withdraw $100 from your savings account, and they told you that you couldnt have it unless you deposited $100 in your checking account first, or wrote a check from your checking account to cover the withdrawal? How would you feel about that? Wouldnt you demand to see a manager?
MGR: Yes, sir/madam (pick whats appropriate), how can I help you?
YOU: Look, your teller told me that I cant withdraw money from my savings account unless I write a check for it first. What the hell is going on here?
MGR: Well, thats right. Thats the way your trust account works.
YOU: Are you nuts? Ive got $1,016 that Ive been saving for ages, and now I want some of it for my baby, Boomer, and youre telling me I cant withdraw it.
MGR: Not without covering it first.
YOU: Come off it. I just put $94.40 in my savings account over the past year, and now I need some of it. I want my money.
MGR: Not all of this $1,016 was money you put into your account. Some of it was interest we paid you every year. Just last year, we gave you another $57.54 on the $864 balance you had the year before. This interest shows in your statement, even though it doesnt show the accumulated interest over the years. Believe me, it all adds up. Thats how your interest got to more than half of what you deposited last year. A tidy profit for you.
YOU: Dammit, my money is supposed to work for me, just like it works for you. Thats only whats right and just. You are a banker, arent you?
MGR: Apparently, you didnt read the fine print from our President. If you will take the time to look at your trust account, youll notice that he said: Trusts dont hold real assets that can be drawn down in the future to fund benefits. Instead, they are claims on our Treasury that, when redeemed, will have to be financed by deposits, borrowing, or doing without something in normal budgets. In other words, youve got to deposit in your checking account and/or write a check, take out a loan that well be glad to provide, or do without something like your vacation so you can come up with the money.
YOU: What kind of crap is this? What happened to the money I gave you? Where did it go?
MGR: Im certain you know that City Bank (no reference to real banks using that name) works hand-in-hand with our city government. Well, we borrowed your deposits for good reason. When we did so, we put nonmarketable markers in your savings or trust fund account, and weve been paying you lucrative interest on top of that. It has extended your credit and sustained the future of your children. We set your assets aside, protected them, and they have been working for you. Just look at how large your account is now.
YOU: God, this just gets crazier and crazier. Tell me what you used my money for, anyway.
MGR: We used a lot of it to pay down the citys debt so you wouldnt have to pay interest on that any more. Every dollar you gave us saved six cents right there. And we used some of it to build the police force, keep you safe, fight off other cities trying to infringe on our rights and property, search out and destroy weapons of mass destruction, other than our own, of course, and a great many other good things like that. Im sure you would have done the same thing in our place.
YOU: Dont you get complaints from other people besides me?
MGR: Oh, yes, many are puzzled at first. Ive had health care people, gas station operators, highway and airport workers, and dozens of other types ask me the same questions. Just last week, a bridge tender was in here, and he got furious. The answers are always the same. Is there anything else I can help you with?
Do you get the picture?
This is exactly where your Social Security Trust Fund stands. Add nine zeros to the numbers above, and you will have an accurate picture of the situation as of the end of fiscal 2000. Its getting worse, day by day, month by month. All entitlements together are contributing roughly $15 billion per month to government coffers. Money you will never see again. Not until the respective trust fund must be cashed in. At that time, either you or your children will be in exactly this position.
Its not a joke.