31. New Tactics in an Old War: Vanishing the Social Security Surplus ~ Angry Bear
April 2, 2009 § Leave a comment
Social security debate and robbery.
by Bruce Webb
A new front was opened Monday in the war on Social Security. The first shot came from Kevin Hassett of AEI who wrote a piece for Bloomberg Recession Bites Into Social Security’s Surplus
We have all been so busy whining about bonuses at American International Group Inc. and arguing about the so-called card- check legislation that we forgot to watch the Social Security surplus. While we were looking away, that surplus disappeared, eight years ahead of schedule.
This was immediately picked up by the Washington Post stenographers in a piece from Lori Montgomery on Tuesday Recession Puts a Major Strain On Social Security Trust Fund: As Payroll Tax Revenue Falls, So Does Surplus
With unemployment rising, the payroll tax revenue that finances Social Security benefits for nearly 51 million retirees and other recipients is falling, according to a report from the Congressional Budget Office. As a result, the trust fund’s annual surplus is forecast to all but vanish next year — nearly a decade ahead of schedule — and deprive the government of billions of dollars it had been counting on to help balance the nation’s books.
If true this would be a totally ‘Holy Crap Batman!’ moment, because per the 2008 Report Social Security ran a positive balance of $190 billion in 2007, was projected to run a $196 billion positive balance in 2008 and $212 billion in 2009 Table IV.A3.—Operations of the Combined OASI and DI Trust Funds, Calendar Years 2003-17. In fact it was still projected to be adding assets to the tune of $213 billion in 2017. How could all of that just vanish without anyone noticing?
Answer? It didn’t. Hassett is mostly just playing word games. If we back up and examine click to read the rest