The idea behind #Social Security was that hard-working Americans would pay part of each paycheck to the government in the form of payroll taxes (FICA) so that when they got to retirement age the government could use that money to pay their retirement benefits. And it worked great.
Social Security made a profit
The government actually collected more money than it paid out. Today that surplus of FICA tax collections over and above actual Social Security payments is about $2.8 Trillion. That’s right – Social Security made a profit on FICA tax collections over and above Social Security payments to the tune of about $2.8 Trillion dollars. This is your money. You worked for it.
The Social Security surplus was invested in U.S.
But, instead of putting this surplus into regular bank accounts or investing it in mutual funds like private retirement plans do, the government invested this huge surplus in its own U.S. Government bonds.
Now, #Paul Ryan and the #republicans in Congress have figured out that in 2020 the current payroll taxes will not be enough to continue to pay retirement benefits on a pay-as-you-go basis – that in 2020 the Social Security Administration will need to cash in some of some of those bonds in order to pay benefits.
Republicans want to reduce benefits instead of paying the bonds
And Paul Ryan and the Republicans don’t want those bonds cashed in. Why? Because they’ve spent the money. For example, Politifact estimates that George Bush used about $708 Billion of the payroll tax surplus to fund the Iraq war and the famous Bush tax cuts for the rich.
Think about that. The Republicans used billions of dollars of your retirement money to fund tax cuts for rich people.
Now, the Republicans want to cut social security benefits to you and your children, benefits you worked for and paid for, so that the government doesn’t have to pay back the money it borrowed from your retirement fund to finance tax cuts to rich people. And Donald Trump agrees with them.
It’s as if you owned an apartment house and instead of putting what was left over after mortgage payments in the bank, your building manager took the excess rent and spent it on gambling junkets to Las Vegas. Now, years later, the building needs a new roof and he has the gall to tell you that you need to dig into your savings to fund the roof repairs because he doesn’t want to pay back the money that he “borrowed” for his gambling trips.
The government has spent almost three trillion dollars of your retirement money on other stuff, and now Paul Ryan and the Republicans are telling you that they want to cut the Social Security benefits that you paid for because they don’t want to pay back your retirement money that they spent on other stuff.
Do you think that's right?