Marti Oakley (c)copyright 2010  All Rights Reserved



From the years 1984 to 2002 the US government had collected 1.7 trillion more in social security taxes than it paid out in claims.  By 2006 this surplus had ballooned to 2.4 trillion in excess SS taxes.  This is 2.4 trillion in excess of all claims paid to widows, retirees, orphans and disability benefits.  And, it is this 2.4 trillion surplus that has Wall Street slobbering all over itself trying to come up with plans on how to siphon that money off of SS and into Wall Street markets.


Where did the surplus go?


Every administration since Lyndon Johnson, who made the SS trust surplus available to the general fund to finance the Viet Nam war, has used the SS fund to finance anything and everything.  The current president has used the SS surplus to finance the day to day operations of the federal government in lieu of the massive loss of tax revenues generated by the tax cuts to the obscenely wealthy. 


The reason that administration economists insisted that the economy was growing was because Social Security surpluses were used to finance tax cuts for people who were so rich they didn’t need them.  On paper, and without admitting the theft of and misuse of funds, the economists reported a “growth” in revenues generated by cutting taxes to the rich. That growth was a direct result of re-designating the stolen funds as “tax revenues”. 


What the Bush Republicans have done is to use Social Security taxes so the wealthy can enjoy big huge tax cuts. 


The extra funds were also used to finance government, purchase war weaponry, fund the Iraqi war to some extent, and to pay the salaries of FBI agents who are busy putting all of us under surveillance as possible terrorists.


In his first year as president, Bush also took 20 million out of SS to fund privately owned schools that taught neo-conservative based curriculums.  SS also has been paying for SSI, the federal version of welfare for the indigent.  Originally, the Social Security Administration administered SSI but the funds for this program were separate from those generated by the SS tax.  Now, SS pays for all of it.


Social Security has also been hard hit by the funding of illegal aliens.  In 2005, the cost to the federal government for expenses directly related to illegal immigrants was 200 billion; that’s food stamps, healthcare, housing and education.  This does not include state by state costs incurred by these same illegal residents.  Most of this paid for by again raiding Social Security.


Although these few items are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to who stole the money and why, it should give you some idea as to why various politicians are still beating the privatization drum; although how any one could even utter the word after the current financial crisis is beyond me.


Social Security is NOT an unfunded liability.  Social Security is very well funded by American workers.  The federal government is the unfunded liability but covers this liability by stealing the retirement of workers. 


The next time your politician of choice suggests to you that Social Security is an entitlement program implying that it is some kind of unearned welfare, remind them that taxes on your wages is what funds this program.  The federal government does not fund Social Security…… Social Security funds the federal government.  Maybe it is some perverse form of reverse welfare.  Then, ask them what happened to this 2.4 trillion dollar surplus that was stolen from our retirement accounts and how they intend to pay it back.


The same politicians who proclaim Social Security to be a socialist entitlement program seem not to be aware that if it didn’t exist, they most likely wouldn’t have gotten a pay check.  Maybe if it hits them in their pockets they’ll get a clue.


© 2008 Marti Oakley