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Article on the Soc. Sec. Trustees' Projection of the Social Security Fund.

A recent AARP article indicated that the SSA Trustees stated that the Social Security Fund will be depleted by 2033, not 2034. Notwithstanding the administration providing unlawful immigrants social security funds, there should be a boost in the funds, since a great number of the Social Security beneficiaries died from COVID-19, from late 2019 to the present (see below).

 

This is a letter that I sent to Senator Blackburn (TN) in response to her letter.

 

Senator Blackburn:   “While the program maintains roughly $2.9 trillion in trust fund reserves, the latest annual report from the trustees of Social Security indicates that these funds will be depleted by 2034.”

 

Does this include the amount of funds, approximately $1.5+ trillion that the Executive Branch owes the SSA Fund (IOUs)? If it does not include the IOUs, then there are $4.4+ trillion dollars in trust reserves.

 

Also, I am not a fan of the Trustees of the Social Security Fund because they are not as candid as one would believe. By 2034, nearly every person in the age of the Baby Boomer period will have died or will be within 10 years of dying. This will relieve a great amount of funds in the Social Security coffers. Someone did not consider the amount of Social Security funds saved from the number of seniors who perished from COVID-19.

 

The trustees are wrong, and as a researcher, I am confident of this information.

 

Between the beginning of January 2020 and October 20, 2021, the number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) deaths in 4 cohort age groups from 50 years of age to exceeding 85 years of age in the U.S. as of October 20, 2021, by age*  Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/1191568/reported-deaths-from-covid-by-age-us/

 

     128,814 (50-64)

     163,293 (65-74)

     189,790 (75-84)

     196,633 (85 & older)

     ------------------------------

     678,530 COVID-19 deceased

 

Considering only those in the eighty-five & older age group who are deceased we can see a savings of approximately $2,831,515,200 per year in social security funds. This is $3 billion per year. This does not include the other 481,897 seniors in the other three cohort age groups, which would amount to approximately $7 billion per year.

 

With this knowledge, you may have a different thought about this subject.

 

I hope this assists you with better understanding my advocacy and those who are adversely affected by the statute that prevents retired federal employees (CSRS) from receiving their SSA benefits, regardless of what they have put into the SSA fund.

 

======================================

Dr. Don T. Gala

(Ph.D., University of Rochester, 1994)

http://ddgala.ag-sites.net/index.htm

 

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FYI, Google 

 

Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out?
Updated October 15, 2021

 

There is a lot of information in that paper.

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Wether the trust fund is depleted or not we should get between 75% - 80% of our benefits. There are people trying to convince others that their benefits will go to zero if the trust fund is depleted. It is a scare tactic used by one side to make Social Security recipients think “Oh well, I wasn’t going to get anything anyway.”

 

 I am a WEP victim too. I retired as a municipal firefighter who worked enough quarters to get Social Security. Unfortunately people got what they voted for. I continue to hope for WEP and GPO’s repeal.

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 I believe we have done all the damage we can with this subject matter. I also believe that there is nothing more that can be said that will resolve this issue. I am aware that CSRS retirees are dying every day, so the list is rapidly decreasing in size. Within 10 years we will be talking about a very small group of those who retired under the CSRS program. Maybe then they'll do something about this issue. This leaves a very bad taste in my mouth and I am certain that others in my position feel the same way. This is sad.  😞  

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@ddgala53 Interesting posting. I was not able to find any reference to the $1.5 Trillion IOUs from the Executive Branch. I am providing a link regarding the SS Trust Investments https://www.ssa.gov/oact/ProgData/specialissues.html There are two types;namely, Certificates of Indebtedness (COI) which are short term (less than 1 year) and Special Issue Bonds (1 -15 year). Where did you find info on IOUs? 

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This information was in a Government Executive article. The source was verified at the time. If you are not familiar with the borrowing from Social Security by the Executive Branch (Obama borrowed billions from the CSRS Fund 2 years before his 8th year in office), which began with President Eisenhower, then some research is needed. These are IOUs (the official term is different, but to the layperson, IOU is something they can understand). I hope this helps. 

This is why I dislike and do not trust the SS Fund Trustees. Double talk is something this Executive Branch retiree understands. This is where "knowledge equals power" becomes "knowledge equals frustration!"

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@ddgala53 

Numbers aren't double talk.

Do you think these numbers are correct?  It is revenue in and benefits outs - simply and with a lots of checks and balances spanning different dept of government.

Social Security Administration:  Trust Fund Data  1957 - 2020

 

We also know where the excess is sitting in special investments, short and long term.  We know what interest rate they are getting.  We know when redemption takes place.  We also know when various manipulations are done, why and when they are reversed as has been done from time to time - because a law or rule has to be initiated for this to be done.

 

Is this what you are talking about when you speak about Obama borrowing from the CSRS Fund?

FEDSMITH.com 01/15/2013 - Government Will Borrow From Federal Employee Pension Fund to Avoid Passing...

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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You found the first time this was done, to my knowledge. The money taken from the pension fund for the Annual Budget was actually done 1 year later. BTW, I wasn't even aware of this incident.

 

I noticed that no one mentioned anything about the money saved from the deaths of Social Security benefit recipients (COVID-19 deaths). This is NOT chump change. Interesting.... 

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@ddgala53 The website that @Gail1 provided has pertinent information regarding the Treasury borrowing money from the G Fund of the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). I am including a link https://www.fedsmith.com/2017/03/21/government-begins-borrowing-from-the-g-fund-to-offset-debt-ceili... that is informative. Please review the Section titled Borrowing From the G Fund.This borrowing by the Treasury has occurred many times over the last 25 years. The G Fund assets within the TSP are used by the Federal Government to meet expenses. So,many federal employees are contributing to financing the operations of the federal government whether they know it or not. It should also be noted that under certain circumstances, the Secretary of Treasury is authorized to suspend the investment of amounts in the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund and sell or redeem Treasury Securities prior to maturity. I am adding another link that provides pertinent info that may help you understand how the CSRDF and G Fund is fundedhttps://www.everycrsreport.com/reports/98-810.html#fn1 Both of these funds only invest in Special Issue Treasury Bonds. These are non-marketable bonds. These Federal Funds are not a "store of wealth" like private pension funds with stocks and marketable bonds. In fact, they are not governed by Federal Pension Law which is called Employee Retirement and Income Security Act (ERISA). The assets in the CSRDF are entirely invested in Special Issue Treasury Bonds which function solely as a record of available budget authority. The accounting is cumbersome and is "as clear as mud". Even with all this complexity,no one has lost any money.In fact, the end result is that the Federal Government ends up providing the 30 year employee with about 56% of their 3 year average pay. In the pension world, that pension is called "gold plated". For comparison, with SS, you need 35 years of earnings; and, if lucky, you may receive 35% to 40% of your 35 year average. The lower income folks receive benefits closer to the 40% number and higher incomes less than 40%.

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This is Part 3 of the remaining citations:

 

[41] "Press Briefing by National Economic Advisor Gene Sperling." The White House, October 23, 1999. Accessed at http://ofcn.org/cyber.serv/teledem/pb/1999/oct/msg00220.html in October of 2000.

 

[42] "Remarks By the President on Debt Reduction." The White House, October 27, 1999. Accessed at http://clinton3.nara.gov/WH/New/html/19991027.html in August of 2001.

 

[43] "Prosperity For America's Families – The Gore Lieberman Economic Plan." Gore / Lieberman, Inc., September 2000. Accessed at http://www.cnn.com/2000/ALLPOLITICS/stories/09/06/gore.economic.plan/gore_prosperity.pdf  in May of 2001. (This is a 835 KB Adobe PDF Document.)

 

[44] "2000 Democratic National Platform" Adopted by the 2000 Democratic National Convention on August 15, 2000. Accessed at http://www.democrats.org/issues/platform/platform.htm in July of 2001.

 

[45] "Transcript of First Bush-Gore Presidential Debate, Part II." NewsMax.com, October 3, 2000. Accessed at http://www.newsmax.com/articles/?a=2000/10/4/02307 in October of 2000.

 

[46] "Regional Accounts Data – Population." Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2000. Accessed at http://www.bea.doc.gov/bea/regional/spi/ in May of 2000.
Notes:
A) The 9 trillion dollar figure is substantiated later in the essay.
B) As of 2000, the population in the U.S. is 281,421,906.

 

[47] "Social Security Trust Funds: Frequently Asked Questions." Social Security Administration of the United States of America, June 7, 1999. Accessed at http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/ProgData/fundFAQ.html in May of 2001.
Notes:
A) This document states: "By law, all income to the trust funds that is not immediately needed to pay expenses is invested, on a daily basis, in securities guaranteed as to both principal and interest by the Federal government."

 

[48] "Frequently Asked Questions about the Public Debt." The Bureau of the Public Debt - Treasury of the United States of America, Updated August 4, 2000. Accessed at http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/opd/opdfaq.htm in December of 2000.
Notes:
A) This document states: "Additionally, the Government Trust Funds are required by law to invest accumulated surpluses in Treasury securities. The Treasury securities issued to the public and to the Government Trust Funds then become part of the public debt."

 

[49] "Monthly Statement of the Public Debt of the United States." The Bureau of the Public Debt - Treasury of the United States of America, December 31, 2000. Accessed at ftp://208.131.225.4/opd/opdm122000.pdf in August of 2001.
Notes:
A) Social Security is comprised of the "Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund" and the "Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund." Both of these appear on page 7 in "Table III - Detail of the Public Debt Outstanding."

 

[50] "Monthly Statement of the Public Debt of the United States." The Bureau of the Public Debt - Treasury of the United States of America, December 31, 2000. Accessed at ftp://208.131.225.4/opd/opds122000.pdf in May of 2001. (This is an Adobe PDF document.)
Notes:
A) The interest rate on debt owed to non-federal entities is 6.665
B) The interest rate on debt owed to federal entities is 6.618

 

[51] "Long Range OASDI Financial Effects of the President's Proposal for Strengthening Social Security – Information." Letter from Social Security Administration Deputy Chief Actuary Stephen C. Goss to Chief Actuary Harry C. Ballantyne, June 26, 2000.
Notes:
A) The Clinton administration and Gore campaign cited several actuarial studies of their plans to extend the life of Social Security. Just Facts was unable to find any of these studies on the White House, Gore campaign, or Social Security Administration's web sites. During the Clinton administration, we contacted the Office of the Chief Actuary at the Social Security Administration, and we were told that they did not have these studies. We eventually obtained a copy of this study from the Senate Budget Committee.
B) This document states: "This proposal would require that transfers be made from the General Fund of the Treasury of the United States to the [Social Security Trust Funds.]"
C) The 9 trillion dollar figure was arrived at by adding up the annual totals listed in this study. The actual figure is closer to 10 trillion dollars. The figures are based on year 2000 dollars.

 

[52] Mitchell, Daniel J. "The Social Security Trust Fund Fraud." The Heritage Foundation, February 22, 1999. Accessed at http://www.heritage.org/library/backgrounder/bg1256es.html in December of 2000.
Notes:
A) This article quotes the Clinton administration budget proposal for the year 2000, which states that the Social Security Trust Funds "do not consist of real economic assets." It also states that the Trust Funds are "claims on the Treasury, that, when redeemed, will have to be financed by raising taxes, borrowing from the public, or reducing benefits or other expenditures."

 

[53] "Prosperity For America's Families – The Gore Lieberman Economic Plan." Gore / Lieberman, Inc., September 2000. Accessed at http://www.cnn.com/2000/ALLPOLITICS/stories/09/06/gore.economic.plan/gore_prosperity.pdf  in May of 2001.
Notes:
A) Page 41

 

[54] Prosperity For America's Families – The Gore Lieberman Economic Plan." Gore / Lieberman, Inc., September 2000. Accessed at http://www.cnn.com/2000/ALLPOLITICS/stories/09/06/gore.economic.plan/gore_prosperity.pdf  in May of 2001.
Notes:
A) Page 185 contains an allocation of the projected surplus for the years 2001 through 2011. It allocates no money to Social Security.
B) Page 40 of this document states that "interest savings" will be devoted to Social Security starting in the year 2011.

 

[55] "Truth Squad - Evaluating Accuracy of Candidates' Statements." ABC News, Oct. 4, 2000. Accessed at http://more.abcnews.go.com/sections/politics/dailynews/debate001003_truthsquad.html in October of 2000.

 

[56] "Debating the truth - How many liberties did Bush and Gore take with the facts?" NBC News, October 4, 2000. Accessed at http://www.msnbc.com/ in October of 2000.

 

[57] Jackson, Brooks, "A presidential debate fact check." CNN, October 4, 2000. Accessed at http://www.cnn.com/2000/ALLPOLITICS/stories/10/04/fact.check/ in October of 2000.

 

[58] "Media Reality Check - "Completely Non-Partisan" Stephanopoulos." Media Research Center, July 25, 2001. Accessed at http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/reality/2001/Fax20010725.html in July of 2001.

 

[59] "The 2000 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance Trust Funds." March 30, 2000. Accessed at http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/TR/TR00/index.html in June of 2001.
Notes:
A) Figures arrived at by using data on page 179.

 

[60] "Social Security Trust Funds: Frequently Asked Questions." Social Security Administration of the United States of America, June 7, 1999. Accessed at http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/ProgData/fundFAQ.html in May of 2001.
Notes:
A) This document states: "By law, all income to the trust funds that is not immediately needed to pay expenses is invested, on a daily basis, in securities guaranteed as to both principal and interest by the Federal government."

 

[61] "History Myths - Social Security Trust Funds." History Page, Social Security Administration of the United States of America. Accessed at http://www.ssa.gov/history/offbudget.html in March of 2001.
Notes:
A) This document states: "Like all purchasers of Treasury securities, the Social Security Trust Funds are lending money to the Federal government--money which can be used for any general government purpose."

 

 

The article in the Washington Post, “Treasury to tap pensions to help fund government” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/treasury-to-tap-pensions-to-help-fund-government/201...), indicates a desire of the Obama administration in tapping into this money as though it were their own piggy bank.

 

Regarding pensions, there was an article in 2019, “FERS/CSRS programs are probably safe, for now,” that shows just how vicious the Office of the President can be toward our public servants (https://federalnewsnetwork.com/mike-causey-federal-report/2019/06/fers-csrs-programs-are-probably-sa...).

 

Usually, I do not rely on 10-year-old articles, but sometimes the questions inspire greater in-depth research of the literature. You may want to review “What Happened to the $2.6 Trillion Social Security Trust Fund?” is an opinion piece in Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/merrillmatthews/2011/07/13/what-happened-to-the-2-6-trillion-social-sec.... This goes beyond what we’re addressing, but it is about the use of Social Security.

 

Most likely you have reviewed the information in the 2016 annual report about the Social Security program (and other programs) (see https://www.ssa.gov/oact/tr/2016/tr2016.pdf).

 

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This is Part 2 of the remaining citations:

 

[14] "The 2000 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance Trust Funds." March 30, 2000. Accessed at http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/TR/TR00/index.html in June of 2001.
Notes:
A) Page 3 of this document states: "[Social Security] tax revenues are expected to exceed expenditures until 2015."
B) Nowhere in the Gore/Lieberman plan is this fact mentioned. The Bush plan includes this fact on page 22.

 

[15] "Monthly Statement of the Public Debt of the United States." The Bureau of the Public Debt - Treasury of the United States of America, December 31, 2000. Accessed at ftp://208.131.225.4/opd/opds122000.pdf in May of 2001.
Notes:
A) The total interest bearing debt is $5,618,061,000,000 and average interest rate is about 6.642%. This means that the annual interest on the national debt is about $373,152,000,000.
B) A small portion of the national debt (less than 1%) does not bear interest.

 

[16] "Cyberalert." The Media Research Center, October 1, 1998. Accessed at http://www.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1998/cyb19981001.html in May of 2001.
Notes:
A) Bill Clinton referred to the budget as having a surplus.
B) ABC World News Tonight referred to the budget as balanced.

 

[17] "PBS News Hour." Public Broadcasting Station, February 2, 1998. Accessed at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/budget/jan-june98/budget_2-2a.html in May of 2001.

 

[18] Moore, Stephen. "Imbalanced Budget Reporting - MediaNomics." The Media Research Center, April 1998. Accessed at http://www.mediaresearch.org/fmp/medianomics/1998/199804ed.html in May of 2001.
Notes:
A) In February of 2000, National Public Radio referred to the budget as balanced.

 

[19] Pooley Eric. "Breakdown on the Road to History." Time, August 10, 1998. Accessed at http://www.time.com/time/magazine/1998/dom/980810/special_report.breakdown7.html in May of 2001.

 

[20] Pianin, Eric, Clinton Submits Balanced Budget to Congress. The Washington Post, February 3, 1998. Accessed at http://www.washingtonpost.com/ in May of 2001.

 

[21] "Historical Debt Outstanding – Annual: 1950- 2000." The Bureau of the Public Debt - Treasury of the United States of America, Updated January 1, 2001. Accessed at http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/opd/opdhisto4.htm in May of 2001.

 

[22] "Historical Debt Outstanding – Annual: 1950- 2000." The Bureau of the Public Debt - Treasury of the United States of America, Updated January 1, 2001. Accessed at http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/opd/opdhisto4.htm in May of 2001.

 

[23] "The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2002 – 2011, Chapter 1." The Congressional Budget Committee, January 2001. Accessed at http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index=2727&sequence=2 in May of 2001.
Notes:
A) In table 1-2, this document states that the interest on the debt in 2000 was 223 billion dollars.

 

[24] "Interest Expense on the Debt Outstanding." The Bureau of the Public Debt - Treasury of the United States of America, Updated April 18, 2001. Accessed at http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/opd/opdint.htm in May of 2001.
Notes:
A) This document states that the interest on the debt in 2000 was 362 billion dollars.
B) The difference between the figures cited by the Bureau of the Public Debt and the Congressional Budget Office is resolved by including the debt owed to federal entities.

 

[25] In actuality, there are two Social Security Trust Funds. The following documents contain an annual accounting of the surpluses and assets of the Social Security program from 1937 to 2000:
A) "Financial data for the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Trust Funds, 1957-2000." Office of the Chief Actuary - Social Security Administration of the United States of America, Updated May 14, 2001. Accessed at http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/STATS/table4a3.html in May of 2001.
B) "Financial data for the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, 1937-2000." Office of the Chief Actuary - Social Security Administration of the United States of America, Updated March 2, 2001. Accessed at http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/STATS/table4a1.html in May of 2001.

 

[26] "The 2000 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance Trust Funds." March 30, 2000. Accessed at http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/TR/TR00/index.html in June of 2001.
Notes:
A) Page 221 of this document states: "Funds not withdrawn for current monthly or service benefits, the financial interchange, and administrative expenses are invested in interest-bearing Federal securities, as required by law; the interest earned is also deposited in the trust funds."

 

[27] "Social Security Trust Funds: Frequently Asked Questions." Social Security Administration of the United States of America, June 7, 1999. Accessed at http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/ProgData/fundFAQ.html in May of 2001.
Notes:
A) This document states: "By law, all income to the trust funds that is not immediately needed to pay expenses is invested, on a daily basis, in securities guaranteed as to both principal and interest by the Federal government."

 

[28] "History Myths - Social Security Trust Funds." History Page, Social Security Administration of the United States of America. Accessed at http://www.ssa.gov/history/offbudget.html in March of 2001.
Notes:
A) This document states: "The basic fact of all Treasury securities of whatever form is that they are promissory notes issued by the Federal government--promises to pay money at some time in the future."

 

[29] "The 2000 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance Trust Funds." March 30, 2000. Accessed at http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/TR/TR00/index.html in June of 2001.
Notes:
A) Page 7 of this document states: "The invested assets of the trust funds are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government, in the same way as other public-debt obligations of the United States."
B) Page 221 of this document states: "Funds not withdrawn for current monthly or service benefits, the financial interchange, and administrative expenses are invested in interest-bearing Federal securities, as required by law; the interest earned is also deposited in the trust funds."
C) Contrary to popular belief, the actions of President Lyndon B. Johnson have no effect on this fact. For a detailed explanation, go to footnote 37.

 

[30] "The Social Security Act of 1935." The Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, August 14, 1935. Accessed at http://www.ssa.gov/history/35act.html in May of 2001.
Notes:
A) Title VIII- Taxes With Respect to Employment

 

[31] "The 2000 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance Trust Funds." March 30, 2000. Accessed at http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/TR/TR00/index.html in June of 2001.
Notes:
A) Page 33 of this document states that the Social Security Trust Funds were established as "separate" accounts in the United States Treasury and that "all the financial operations" of Social Security are handled through these funds.
B) Page 37 of this document states: "The Social Security Act does not permit expenditures from the [Social Security] Trust Funds for any purpose not related to the payment of benefits or administrative costs for the [Social Security] program."

 

[32] "History Myths - Social Security Trust Funds." History Page, Social Security Administration of the United States of America. Accessed at http://www.ssa.gov/history/offbudget.html in March of 2001.
Notes:
A) This document states: "When any bondholder presents their Treasury securities for redemption, the Treasury must either raise cash by taxation or by additional borrowing to pay off the bondholder. This is true for all Treasury securities, including the assets held by the Social Security Trust Funds."

 

[33] "The 2000 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance Trust Funds." March 30, 2000. Accessed at http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/TR/TR00/index.html in June of 2001.
Notes:
A) Page 37 of this document states: "The Social Security Act does not permit expenditures from the [Social Security] Trust Funds for any purpose not related to the payment of benefits or administrative costs for the [Social Security] program." This prohibits the use of Social Security taxes to pay for the national debt.

 

[34] "America to Celebrate Tax Freedom Day on May 3, 2000" The Tax Foundation, April 13, 2000. Accessed at http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxfreedomday.html in April of 2001.
Notes:
A) This document lists the different types of federal taxes. Social Security taxes fall under the category of "Social Insurance Taxes"

 

[35] "The 2000 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance Trust Funds." March 30, 2000. Accessed at http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/TR/TR00/index.html in June of 2001.
Notes:
A) Page 37 of this document states: "The Social Security Act does not permit expenditures from the [Social Security] Trust Funds for any purpose not related to the payment of benefits or administrative costs for the [Social Security] program."

 

[36] The following documents contain an annual accounting of the surpluses and assets of the Social Security program from 1937 to 2000. All of the money that came into the Social Security program was used for Social Security benefits and administrative expenses, or placed in the appropriate Trust Fund.
A) "Financial data for the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Trust Funds, 1957-2000." Office of the Chief Actuary - Social Security Administration of the United States of America, Updated May 14, 2001. Accessed at http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/STATS/table4a3.html in May of 2001.
B) "Financial data for the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, 1937-2000." Office of the Chief Actuary - Social Security Administration of the United States of America, Updated March 2, 2001. Accessed at http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/STATS/table4a1.html in May of 2001.

 

[37] "History Myths - Social Security Trust Funds." History Page, Social Security Administration of the United States of America. Accessed at http://www.ssa.gov/history/offbudget.html in March of 2001.

 

[38] Ferrara, Peter, J. "Al Gore's Social Security Confusion." The Cato Institute, October 26, 2000. Accessed at http://www.cato.org/dailys/10-06-00.html in December of 2000.

 

[39] "HR 1259 - Social Security Lockbox -- Passage." The United States House of Representatives, May 26, 1999. Accessed at http://www.vote-smart.org/ in May of 2000.

 

[40] "HR 1259 - Social Security Lockbox Cloture Motion." The United States Senate, June 16, 1999. Accessed at http://www.vote-smart.org/ in May of 2000.

 

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First, I would like to address a couple of issues that I perceive to exist by you that are wrong. There is no doubt that when people contribute to a program and are told they will be able to receive benefits in the future that when they get to the point when they are eligible to receive these benefits, they want them. I, and many others, contributed for 14 years to 20 years to Social Security before entering federal service.

 

Further, we were told that after a number of years we would receive a pension (CSRS-LE). We were in law enforcement positions (50% of high 3 years at 20 years, and 2% per year thereafter). After spending several years in federal service, we had the rug yanked out from under our feet. We would receive a fraction of our Social Security benefits. Is this right? I believe this is nothing short of theft, which is why I support pending bills Congressional bills H.R.82 (237 co-sponsors) and S.1302 (36 co-sponsors). The alternative would be for Congress to put the money that was contributed by everyone into our TSP accounts.

 

Since we were told as to what we would get before we entered federal service, and years had elapsed before the programs changed (we should have been grandfathered), we should have been able to enjoy our benefits at the end of our careers. As such, I could care less how much I receive in my pension since this had nothing to do with what I would receive after entering federal service. This was just plain wrong. You may disagree, but this does not change the facts.

 

Next, I want to address your response. I did take a couple of hours of my valuable time to find the article addressing President Obama “borrowing” $500 billion from the CSRS for the FY2015 or FY2016 budget. This has been frustrating for me. I probably put the article in a safe “electronic” file.

 

Although an interesting article (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-column-miller-socialsecurity-idUSKCN1N64GR), which tends to support your overzealous position, it is based more on conjecture than on fact since the “unknown” is more vivid than anyone would like to address. The fact that they refer to how the law treats Social Security surplus, today, does not apply to how it was treated yesteryear (https://www.ssa.gov/history/BudgetTreatment.html).

 

Maybe you can explain what is meant by the Historian’s statement:

 

In the 1983 Social Security Amendments a provision was included mandating that Social Security be taken "off-budget" starting in FY 1993. This was a recommendation from the National Commission on Social Security Reform (aka the Greenspan Commission). The Commission's report argued: "The National Commission believes that changes in the Social Security program should be made only for programmatic reasons, and not for purposes of balancing the budget. Those who support the removal of the operations of the trust funds from the budget believe that this policy of making changes only for programmatic reasons would be more likely to be carried out if the Social Security program were not in the unified budget." (Note that this was a majority recommendation of the Commission, not the unanimous view of all members.) This change was in fact enacted into statute in the Social Security Amendments of 1983, signed into law by President Reagan on April 20, 1983.

 

The actual form of the 1983 change was somewhat complex. It provided:

 

1) That the Social Security and Medicare trust funds (and the income and outgo to these funds) be treated as separate budget functions, starting with the 1985 fiscal year and ending with fiscal year 1992.

 

2) For the initial budget year after enactment (FY 1984) the Congress would be bound to use the new procedures but the executive branch would not (because the FY 1984 President's budget had already been submitted to Congress under the old rules).

 

3) Starting with fiscal year 1993, Social Security and the Medicare Part A trust funds were not only off-budget, but were exempted from any general budget reductions that might otherwise apply to the entire federal budget (such as an across-the-board cut). The Part B Medicare trust fund, while also to be shown as a separate budget function, was not protected from general budget limitations.

 

Thus, in this rather complicated fashion, the Social Security program was again off-budget by FY 1985. Perhaps the more important date here, however, was the 1993 date because that date exempted the Social Security program from the potential of generalized budget-cuts.

 

(Emphasis added).

 

What was he saying here? To a great extent, the Social Security surplus was being used by the Executive Branch for budget purposes. Do you believe that they can just take and not pay back these funds? In the Federal government, we refer to these actions as creating an “IOU.” Obviously, you don’t like nor appreciate this layperson’s terminology, but it means the same thing.

 

The accounting measures are complex, and the terminology used is meant, obviously, to hoodwink the populous. You can disagree here if you desire, being a free country and all. I most certainly disagree with you, and I believe that your “tag” of “myth” is grossly offensive. This is yet another play on words and I believe it is disrespectful (incendiary at the very least), and should not be allowed.

 

Merely disagree or agree but keep your labels to yourself.

 

 

By the way, there are other articles that address many factors involving Social Security. I realize that my presentation was too simple, which was intended. Sometimes pouring a lot of complex information onto people can be counterproductive. We merely want people to understand that what they’re being told is not necessarily correct or is mixed with fact and fiction. I try to be simple.

 

The sources of this material can be found at:

 

[1] "Monthly Statement of the Public Debt of the United States." The Bureau of the Public Debt - Treasury of the United States of America, December 31, 2000. Accessed at ftp://208.131.225.4/opd/opdm122000.pdf in August of 2001.
Notes:
A) Social Security is comprised of the "Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund" and the "Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund." Both of these appear on page 7 in "Table III - Detail of the Public Debt Outstanding."
B) The actual figure is $1,016,292,000,000. 

 

[2] "Frequently Asked Questions about the Public Debt." The Bureau of the Public Debt - Treasury of the United States of America, Updated August 4, 2000. Accessed at http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/opd/opdfaq.htm in December of 2000.
Notes:
A) This document states: "Additionally, the Government Trust Funds are required by law to invest accumulated surpluses in Treasury securities. The Treasury securities issued to the public and to the Government Trust Funds then become part of the public debt."

 

[3] "Regional Accounts Data – Population." Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2000. Accessed at http://www.bea.doc.gov/bea/regional/spi/ in May of 2000.
Notes:
A) As of 2000, the population in the U.S. is 281,421,906.

 

[4] "The 2000 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance Trust Funds." March 30, 2000. Accessed at http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/TR/TR00/index.html in June of 2001.
Notes:
A) Page 221 states: "Funds not withdrawn for current monthly or service benefits, the financial interchange, and administrative expenses are invested in interest-bearing Federal securities, as required by law; the interest earned is also deposited in the trust funds."
B) Page 179 projects that the assets of the Social Security Trust Funds at the end of 2015 will be $2,879,800,000,000.
C) Page 147 projects the population of the U.S. in 2015 will be 320,149,000.

 

[5] "Social Security Trust Funds: Frequently Asked Questions." Social Security Administration of the United States of America, June 7, 1999. Accessed at http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/ProgData/fundFAQ.html in May of 2001.
Notes:
A) This document states: "By law, all income to the trust funds that is not immediately needed to pay expenses is invested, on a daily basis, in securities guaranteed as to both principal and interest by the Federal government."

 

[6] "Frequently Asked Questions about the Debt." The Bureau of the Public Debt - Treasury of the United States of America, Updated March 13, 2001. Accessed at http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/opd/opdfaq.htm in April of 2001.
Notes:
A) There is considerable confusion regarding the terminology associated with the national debt. The Bush administration uses the terms "debt held by the public" and "intragovernmental holdings" to describe the two categories of national debt. The Clinton administration used the terms "publicly held debt" and "government held debt." Just Facts uses the terms "debt owed to federal entities" and "debt owed to non-federal entities" because they are more descriptive and less confusing. For example, using the Bush Administration's terminology, if the federal government owes money to a local government, this would fall into the category of "debt held by the public." This is confusing because one would expect that money owed by one government to another would fall into the category of "intragovernmental holdings." As the reference document states, this is not the case. Another large source of confusion has to do with us the use of the word "public." This is because the term "public debt" refers to the overall national debt, yet the term "publicly held debt" only refers to a portion of the national debt. To complicate matters further, sometimes politicians and reporters incorrectly use the term "public debt" when they are really referring to the "publicly held debt." To avoid this confusion, Just Facts coined the terms that we use. The exception to our terminology is Federal Financing Bank securities, which are limited to 15 billion dollars.
B) Listed below are some frequently used terms categorized by their proper meanings:
   (a) Overall national debt – national debt, public debt, gross debt, debt.
   (b) Debt owed to federal entities – Nonmarketable debt, Intragovernmental holdings, debt held by the government, government held debt.
   (c) Debt owed to non-federal entities – Marketable debt, debt held by the public, publicly held debt. (Note - A small amount of marketable debt is owned by federal entities.)

 

[7] "Monthly Statement of the Public Debt of the United States." The Bureau of the Public Debt - Treasury of the United States of America, December 31, 2000. Accessed at ftp://208.131.225.4/opd/opds122000.pdf in May of 2001.

 

[8] "United States Code Title 3, Chapter 31, Section 3123. - Payment of obligations and interest on the public debt." Accessed at http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/31/3123.html in May of 2001.

 

[9] "A Blueprint for New Beginnings – A Responsible Budget for America's Priorities." Executive Office of the President of the United States, February 28, 2001. Accessed at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/usbudget/blueprint/budtoc.html in April of 2001.
Notes:
A)  Page 29

 

[10] "A Blueprint for New Beginnings – A Responsible Budget for America's Priorities." Executive Office of the President of the United States, February 28, 2001. Accessed at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/usbudget/blueprint/budtoc.html in April of 2001. Notes:
A) A footnote on Page 11 of this document states that the 2 trillion dollar figure is "publicly held debt."
B) In this footnote, the numbers cited do not include the debt owed to federal entities.

 

[11] "A Blueprint for New Beginnings – A Responsible Budget for America's Priorities." Executive Office of the President of the United States, February 28, 2001. Accessed at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/usbudget/blueprint/budtoc.html in April of 2001.
Notes:
A) Page 201 contains a chart with a section labeled, "Held By." Examine the line item, "Debt securities held as assets by Government accounts." This is the debt owed to federal entities. Between 2001 and 2011, it rises by 3,782 billion dollars.
B) Page 201 contains a chart with a section labeled, "Debt Outstanding, End of Year." Examine the line item, "Total, gross federal debt." This is the national debt. Between 2011 and 2001, it increases by 1,530 billion dollars.

 

[12] "Prosperity for America's Families – The Gore Lieberman Economic Plan." Gore/Lieberman, Inc., September 2000. Accessed at http://www.cnn.com/2000/ALLPOLITICS/stories/09/06/gore.economic.plan/gore_prosperity.pdf in May of 2001.
Notes:
A) This 192 page document was searched cover to cover on 3 separate occasions for any inclusion or acknowledgement of the debt owed to federal entities. In all instances, this debt is excluded.
B) In this document, the phrases "publicly held debt" and "debt held by the public" are used a total of 5 times. On more than 150 other occasions, the document uses terms such as "debt," "public debt," and "national debt," when in fact, it is really referring only to the debt owed to non-federal entities.

 

[13] "Prosperity for America's Families – The Gore Lieberman Economic Plan." Gore/Lieberman, Inc., September 2000. Accessed at http://www.cnn.com/2000/ALLPOLITICS/stories/09/06/gore.economic.plan/gore_prosperity.pdf in May of 2001.
Notes:
A) Page 12

 

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@ddgala53 In your post on 11-21-21 at 4:21 AM, you indicated that you contributed to the SS Fund for 14 years before entering Federal Service and your only benefit is $200/month if you were to apply for it. You did not indicate if that was your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) payable at your Full Retirement Age (FRA) or a reduced SS Benefit for electing an Early Benefit (age 62). You may request a review of your SS benefit calculation and the SSA will provide the math that supports the $200/month SS benefit. In order to comprehend your SS benefit, you need to know how your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME) are developed and the Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) formula as well as the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). The FICA taxes that you paid for 14 years are not used to develop your SS benefit. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the SS Program is not a retirement savings account such as an IRA, 401 K, TSP, etc. You do not have an account that earns interest and accumulates over time. The SS Programs, Old Age, Survivor, and Disability Income (OASDI) are entitlement programs. You or your survivor (spouse and/or children) become entitled to a SS benefit based on your work history wherein an AIME amount is developed using 35 years of earnings indexed for inflation. In your case, zeroes ($0.00) are used for 21 years since your employer (Federal Government) did not initially participate in the SS Program. As I recall, certain Federal employees covered by the CSRS had the option to transfer to a new approach participating in FERS and Social Security in either 1986 through 1987. I suspect you did not elect such transfer even though such transfer would have removed the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) (which began in 1983 or 1984) from your PIA calculation. The PIA  is the sum of three (3) separate percentages of portions of your AIME. In 2021, the first portion, AIME up to $996.00, is 90%. The second portion, AIME from $997.00 to $6,002, is 32%. The third portion, amounts above $6,002 to the maximum, is 15%. These three (3) portions are adjusted annually for inflation. You should easily see that the PIA calculation provides greater benefits for the low income folks which is why the SS Program is called progressive. However, for the moderate and higher income folks, the PIA formula is regressive. Prior to 1984, some employers and their workers did not participate in the SS Program. If such workers did work at least 40 quarters in SS covered employment, they would become eligible for a SS benefit. Because their AIME would be very low, they would receive a SS benefit at the 90% threshold just like a lower earning worker when, in fact, they may have been a high earning worker in their non-covered employment. That would be a Windfall for that type of worker. Congress removed that loophole by enacting the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) in 1983. Also, this Windfall of SS benefits was a contributing factor to the SS Trust depletion in the early 1980's. The WEP created a schedule starting at 40% instead of 90% which was fair because the SSA determined that, on average, SS benefits were about 40% of AIME. In fact, higher earning folks under the SS Program receive less than 40% inasmuch as the third portion of the POA formula only provides 15% of AIME. It should be noted that many folks with "government pensions" can start their pensions in their 50s whereas under the SS Program, age 62 is the earliest unless disabled. This early payout of government pensions, including CSRS, is equivalent to high six figure to a million present value amounts depending on the age and amount of monthly benefit. Lastly, it should also be noted that in 1960, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that workers have no legally binding contractual rights to their SS benefits and that those benefits can be cut or even eliminated at any time Case 363 US 603 Flemming vs. Nestor. So, the SS Program is not an insurance or retirement program. It is a payroll tax on one hand and a welfare program on the other hand. With the SS Program, we are forced to rely on the unsupported promises of  535 politicians called Congress not the SS Trustees which is far more risky than the private markets. One solution for the SS Program is to create a portion that provides for individual ownership of retirement money as an voluntary option. 

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First, thank you for the additional information about getting an accounting of how they are determining the benefit. I will do this when I get an opportunity.

 

Second, in regard to the CSRS and FERS retirement systems, I can tell that you know little about the nuts and bolts of how this was done. They did make this offer and they determined, using a calculation of benefits, that I would receive more from my CSRS-LE benefits than I would receive from FERS.

 

Keep in mind that the FERS method uses a person's Social Security benefits AND their TSP with the annuity to make up the retirement benefit.

 

My method was higher without the TSP. I have not drawn anything from my TSP, but considering my age (68) I need to do so in the near future since time is short (EOL).

 

Also, I realize that the benefit (Soc. Sec.) is not an account per se. However, this is my money, I earned it, the government took it under the guise of providing me a benefit at a certain age, and I want it. This also applies to the money I earned after leaving 28 years of federal service. This is not a Socialist or Communist government, so it should not act as such. What is mine is not the government's property and the government is in place as allowed by the U.S. Constitution ("We the people..."). To make this right, they should have caused my Soc. Sec. deposits to be placed in my TSP account, if I was not going to receive the benefit promised (and $200 is not a benefit, it is an insult!). This was a Reagan administration theft in 1983 (my opinion) and it needs to be undone.

 

Your reliance on the U.S. Supreme Court decision is interesting. Having attended law school I can assure you that this means nothing. A bad argument in 1960 can result in bad case law. The way you presented it here by using this case is not the way I would present it. With a COMPETENT attorney, I could see this case law resulting in a decision favorable for a lot of CSRS employees. But your position here is duly noted.

 

The only positions that I am aware of, both FERS and CSRS/CSRS-LE, where a person can retire before 62 years old would be in law enforcement, FAA Controllers, Dept. of Energy Nuke Security Teams, and the like. The law compels retirement in most of these cases at 57 years old and a couple of positions at 55 years old. These are mandatory retirements. It is not as though we can stay longer. If we stay until 57 years old, an HR person will meet us with a box, where we place all of our personal items in it, they escort us to HR to turn in our credentials, receive our retirement credentials, complete our Form 2801 (retirement form), and then escort us to the door (they do shake our hand and wish us the best!). It is not as though we have a choice.

 

I do not expect anyone here, absent from this experience or observing others going through this, to fully understand this process. Also, as you can see (I hope I made it clear), the selection of FERS and CSRS by December 1983 was not as simple as some people make it out to be. There was a long process and many things had to be taken into account. Am I incorrect in stating that you were not a Federal employee?  I do not get the feeling from your writing that you were a federal employee. This is not as black and white as one may believe.

 

Thank you for addressing the calculation process and taking the time to look into this further. I appreciate your effort here. As I stated, I will be looking into this.

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@ddgala53 wrote:

You found the first time this was done, to my knowledge. The money taken from the pension fund for the Annual Budget was actually done 1 year later. BTW, I wasn't even aware of this incident.


Also happened in 2005 or 2006 - it is a cash flow problem when this type of event happens - actually, it could even happen again, maybe this year - who knows.  The thing is, it is paid back as soon as funding is restored.  So not to worry.  The country is in debt, but we also print our own money.  😀

 


@ddgala53 wrote:

I noticed that no one mentioned anything about the money saved from the deaths of Social Security benefit recipients (COVID-19 deaths). This is NOT chump change. Interesting.... 


 

With 10,000 boomers (1946 - 1964) retiring everyday until 2031 when the last ones jump onboard the SS retirement train, the number of deaths from Covid of those over 65 years old only counters about 50 days worth -  

(per CNNAs of Aug. 4, 2021, more than 480,000 people age 65 and older perished from Covid-19.  Sorry, we lost them - but it happened; can't go back.

 

It is the earners that we also lost - died or just not working - those paying into the system which will hurt the SS system even worse - but here again it will only matter adding about a year to the SS insolvency date. 

 

 

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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Please do not take CNN seriously. In my opinion, they have no idea what they're talking about. This is not a one-time gain. The benefits recovered are there until the end of the program. Wow! This was odd to me.

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Are you aware of the number of baby boomers dying every day? Your statement fails to take this fact into account. My wife and I are nearly 70 years old. How long do you think we will live? She is a 100% disabled veteran. I am a disabled veteran. I may look good, but inside I am beat-up, shot-up, subjected to numerous major surgeries since 2002, so my time is limited. This is the baby boomer group that you're referring to here. Many of us, born before 1955, has served in the military. Those of us who are Viet Nam veterans will be dead within the next 10-15 years. You aren't taking this into account.

My numbers come from government records, not CNN. The death toll is 678,530 (Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/1191568/reported-deaths-from-covid-by-age-us), which was in my initial communication here. Why would you state a number from 2 months earlier?

How many of the "10,000" actually consist of illegal immigrants being placed on the SSA roles under a disability?

How many baby boomers die each day from old age? As a numbers guy, researcher/program evaluator, I find your presentation to be biased. There are a lot of different variables here that are being conveniently ignored.

I am sorry, but I find this communication to be contentious, disingenuous, with a desire to attempt to disagree with every point that I make. I feel tag-teamed here and I do not have time to entertain here. I am merely sharing important information. 

If you want to add to the information to make it more robust, then please do so. If your only desire is to project misinformation, then please feel free not to engage in any further communication, because it is not helpful. People need to know that there are some games being played in their government (most already know this) and being aware of some of the nonsense I want to share this information. Presently, I have a couple of research papers to complete for presentation in March 2022. So, I must focus on them. 

If you want to help, please refer to government reports, which are my sources, and ignore the media resources (most are not accurate!). Good luck.

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The money was borrowed from these funds to help offset the national budget every October 1st of a particular year. The budget for 2015 or 2016 was supplemented with $500 billion from the CSRS retirement fund. I hope this makes this more clear.

 

Money taken from Social Security is done is like manner. The year that Obama took money from the CSRS retirement fund he did not touch the Social Security fund.

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@ddgala53 Is Government Executive the name of the publication, magazine, blog, etc.? I tried to find an article via google search and did not find any. I did find an article in AARP that addresses myths about Social Security https://www.aarp.org/retirement/social-security/info-2020/10-myths-explained.html I realize that some folks use the symbol,IOU, to represent a bond. When you buy a U.S.Treasury Bond, you are lending money to the Federal Government for a specific period of time. The Treasury has never failed to redeem/repay any bond. Using the  symbol (IOU) sometimes conveys the image of a worthless piece of paper. However, Treasury bonds (aka IOUs) have the greatest guarantee on Earth. They are backed by the full faith and credit of the federal government. Currently, Treasury bonds pay a low interest rate (around 2%) which may not be the optimal investment. For comparison, I-Bonds issued by the Treasury currently pay 7.12% for 6 months. By law, the SS Trust may only invest in Special Issue Securities issued by the U.S. Treasury. I am not aware of the Obama Administration borrowing money from the Civil Service Retirement System. It is possible that the CSRS bought/invested money in U.S. Treasury securities and someone called that borrowing. All pension plans buy/invest in U.S. Treasury securities whether Bills, Notes and/or Bonds.

Periodic Contributor

Yes, Government Executive is a publication. You are incorrect in regard to the CSRS retirement fund. You are also incorrect in the "purchasing of bonds." You need to do some additional reading in Federal Government documents (Federal Register, U.S. Congressional government publications, and Government Executive publications).

By the way, I am an SME in these issues, which is why I commented on this specific issue. I am not trying to teach here and I do not have time for it. Please feel free to carry on. You have the sources.

BTW, the IOU used in this manner is the same as those used in the implementation of the No Fear Act. These are dirty little secrets and it is sad. It is also interesting how you are trying to attach IOUs to the U.S. Treasury and U.S. Bonds. I never heard of this, but it is misinformation. Did I mention that I am retired under CSRS-LE, and I was quite upset when I saw Obama borrow money from the CSRS retirement fund?

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@ddgala53 This is in reply to your post dated 11-19-2021 at 2:59 PM.What is incorrect with my sentence concerning the CSRS Fund? Also, what is incorrect with my sentence concerning the "purchasing of bonds"? Have you ever bought a Treasury Bond at auction or in the Secondary Market or via Treasury Direct? 

I have found Government Executive.com and searched for articles concerning the SS Trust and the approximate $1.5 Trillion (alleged IOUs) that the Executive Branch owes the SS Trust. I reviewed 10 pages which was the only history available and found nothing. If you have any articles or documentation regarding any money owed to the SS Trust,please post. Otherwise, I (as well as others in this Community) may consider you post as another SS myth. Please note that in my post dated 11-19-2021 at 2:30 PM I provided a link to AARP's article entitled, 10 Social Security Myths That Refuse To Die. Please review Myth #5, The government raids social security to pay for other programs (and issues IOUs for such monies). Also, review Myth #7, Social Security is like a retirement savings account. Also, in my initial post dated 11-19-2021 at 12:45 PM, I provided a link to SS website which provides Investment Holdings,Transactions and FAQ (review the IOU question). Investment Holdings are listed monthly from January 1990 through October 2021 (over 30 years) along with weighted averages for interest rates and years to maturity (time duration). You will find the amounts of U. S.Treasury Special Issue Certificate of Indebtedness (short term) and Bonds (longer terms) totaling approximately $2.8 Trillion as well as strategic laddering of the Special Issue Treasuries. There are no values for IOUs. BTW, the symbol, IOU, was the symbol you used in your initial post dated 11-18-2021 at 11:22 PM. I am not attaching the symbol,IOU, to the Special Issue Treasuries or any bond. I am simply informing you that some folks use the symbol, IOU, to represent Special Issue Treasury securities when they try to spin the IOU myth and perpetuate the myth that the government borrows money from the SS Trust (an issues an IOU for such money) to pay for other programs. To help you understand Bonds, I have included a link from Investopedia which is easy to read and understand https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/bond.asp 

 

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Please see my lengthy reply with citations (3 parts). I may have placed it under an earlier reply in error.

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@ddgala53 wrote:

By the way, I am an SME in these issues, which is why I commented on this specific issue. I am not trying to teach here and I do not have time for it. Please feel free to carry on. You have the sources.


(well, I see this thread has progressed a bit since I first drafted my reply an hour ago)

 

I will take the recommendations of Moderator @Underbat to keep my reply respectful and free of insults and inflammatory comments.

 

With all due respect, I find the attitude expressed to be troublesome and unhelpful to this forum.

 

This forum historically has encompassed threads regarding specific questions on Social Security benefits as well as policy issues presented for discussion. From my observation both types of discussions have resulted in helpful discussions.

 

Very few people reading the forum are likely "Subject Matter Experts" on Social Security. But there are several people who give a great deal of time in service to this forum providing valuable insights and interpretations of the Social Security rules as well as policy. Some of these posters have actually worked in related fields and some got there by dint of deep reading into the Social Security rules to gain understanding. These posters provide a valuable service to the readers of this forum with providing understanding of the Social Security benefits and related rules and information regarding policies.

 

For you to stop by here to claim you are a Subject Matter Expert, here to educate us, but yet claiming you are not here to "teach us" sounds disingenuous. If you aren't here to provide some discussion of policy issues and support your claims, then it seems to be that you're here for a political rant (and the Politics forum has since been shut down).


I see now that the discussion has continued. Perhaps it's taken a turn for the better.

Periodic Contributor

No, I'm not here for any political rant. I was merely expressing a problem that finds itself across the political spectrum with no real identity, except for the original adverse impact of the Social Security Act of 1983. Sorry, if it sounded like a political rant.

From a nonpartisan perspective, I have seen the abuses of many administrations. I do get upset over the apparent belief that the Social Security Fund is their personal piggy bank. After all, we all have contributed to this fund and FDR did intend it to be healthy. From a policy perspective, FDR should have caused statutory restrictions to be in place which would have kept our money more secure, but this is a different topic, and the "what ifs" won't help us at this point in time.

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Hello everyone,

Please remember to post according to the community guidelines, and refrain from insults and inflammatory comments.






Also, please be welcoming of new posters, even when you argue with their positions.

Thank you for your cooperation in making the AARP Community a safe and welcoming place for all.
http://community.aarp.org/t5/custom/page/page-id/Guidelines

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I reviewed my comment and did not find any insults,

This is a very sensitive subject for me since I have been following this issue since I retired in 2008. Presently, there is a bill pending, H.R. 82, the Social Security Fairness Act, which would repeal the Social Security Act of 1983. The result of this act is that I can only receive $200/month in social security benefits, even though I contributed to this fund for 14 years BEFORE I entered federal service. I know an MSPB Admin. Judge who put into this fund for 19 years before entering federal service and he can only get $200/mos. as well. I have been an advocate of this bill and preceding like bills in the last 6 Congresses (12 years).

 BTW, I have contributed additional money to the SSA fund since I retired. A cursory analysis indicates that if I received $200/mos. for the next 20 years, I would not get all of these contributions before dying. This is sad.

 

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@ddgala53 wrote:

 

 BTW, I have contributed additional money to the SSA fund since I retired. A cursory analysis indicates that if I received $200/mos. for the next 20 years, I would not get all of these contributions before dying. This is sad.


I'd like to see details of this benefit report (or a hypothetical example) so we can view the details and see how this works under the system. It sounds like you may not have the full amount of "quarters" for the full retirement benefit and/or you may be subject to the WEP rule?

 

Is all this fair? Consider that many people die before even collecting retirement benefits. They may not leave any beneficiaries behind to collect on their benefits. My own father died just before his 62 birthday and never collected any benefits even though he had paid in for many years. That is the "insurance" aspect of Social Security being applied.

 

(One poster in a very recent thread here gave a very good, short explanation of how and why the WEP rule exists.)

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Periodic Contributor

Yes, I am covered under the WEP rule (CSRS-LE) per the Social Security Act of 1983. Very, very sad....

Although I contributed to this fund for 14 years before I entered federal service, my only benefit is $200/mos., if I were to apply for it. I am aware of a gentleman who contributed to the fund for 19 years before entering federal service as an MSPB Administrative Judge. He will only receive $200/mos. as well. It wouldn't be so bad if we could have taken our money out and invested it in our Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). After retirement, I worked as a consultant and had several years of robust remuneration, which meant payment into Social Security. It is like throwing money into a deep hole. If the 1983 law is not repealed, our (everyone in a like situation) contribution will be stolen and lost forever.

This even sounds like a sad story.

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