Letter: Lock Box Won't Save The Problem

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Ernest Schmidt wrote in a letter published Tuesday that there is no financial problem with Social Security and Medicare, we just need to stop raiding the trust fund.

This is not remotely accurate. Yes, we have taken money from the Social Security trust fund, through the purchase of government bonds. But those bonds are not mere IOUs. No one in government is saying that money will not be paid back, and in fact, to make such a claim is a violation of the 14th Amendment.

And on the contrary, by purchasing government bonds, the trust fund is *more* healthy than it otherwise would have been, because that money can grow in value, instead of losing value due to inflation. It may not be good for the rest of the government, but it is good for the trust fund.

And as to not being in financial trouble: pretty much everyone on both sides of the aisle agrees the trust fund will be completely empty at some point, if nothing changes. The Democrats like to quote the CBO year, 2052, while the Republicans like the SSA number, 2041. But if we didn't purchase government bonds, that fund would expire even sooner. slashdot.org

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