President Bush has released his 10-year rip-off–for dummies

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 couldn’t 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? Wouldn’t you demand to see a manager?

MGR: “Yes, sir/madam (pick what’s appropriate), how can I help you?”

YOU: Look, your teller told me that I can’t withdraw money from my savings account unless I write a check for it first. What the hell is going on here?”

MGR: “Well, that’s right. That’s the way your trust account works.

YOU: Are you nuts? I’ve got $1,016 that I’ve been saving for ages, and now I want some of it for my baby, “Boomer”, and you’re telling me I can’t 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 doesn’t show the accumulated interest over the years. Believe me, it all adds up. That’s 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. That’s only what’s right and just. You are a banker, aren’t you?

MGR: “Apparently, you didn’t read the fine print from our President. If you will take the time to look at your trust account, you’ll notice that he said: ‘Trusts don’t 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, you’ve got to deposit in your checking account and/or write a check, take out a loan that we’ll 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: “I’m 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 we’ve 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 city’s debt so you wouldn’t 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. I’m sure you would have done the same thing in our place.”

YOU: Don’t you get complaints from other people besides me?

MGR: “Oh, yes, many are puzzled at first. I’ve 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. It’s 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.

It’s not a joke.

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