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By: Ed Henry

Bob Schieffer may be a nice old man and a longtime news anchor from CBS, but as far as I'm concerned when it comes to questions on Social Security he's a nitwit, ill informed, or another Bonesman protecting his brothers.

To introduce the subject of Social Security, Schieffer started out by saying; "Mr. President, the next question is addressed to you. We all know that Social Security is running out of money, and it has to be fixed ..." From there, he went into Bush's plan for personal accounts.

That's one helluva bit of conjecture to repeat the Washington storyboard line that "Social Security is running out of money," especially when the government just stole $71 billion from our retirement insurance during fiscal 2004.

The real question to both of these candidates should have been: Please explain in detail how the Social Security trust funds became 22.2 percent of the national debt.

I realize that the answer to that question does not lend itself to a two minute statement and ninety seconds of rebuttal. But that's only because the subject is so loaded with false stories, innuendoes, outright lies, and pure bullshit that none of the pirates would answer fully and in detail what's wrong with the Social Security system or open themselves to criticism if they can avoid it.

On the other hand, I could give you the solution in less than two minutes. And that answer is STOP STEALING THE MONEY. That's the first step to any healthy reform.

In the nonpartisan rip-off of our retirement money, the federal government pretends to borrow the surpluses that are continually generated by payroll tax overpayments. And it's all pure pretense and fraud. Everything from spending this money elsewhere to placing phony bonds in phony trust funds (see confessions) is absolutely criminal, but proceeds unpunished.

The very least any President could have done since 1983 when the theft started to build to massive confiscation could have been to put payroll tax overpayments (both Social Security and Medicare) in a real trust fund until we figured out what to do with these growing surpluses.

But no one did this. Instead, for years we piddled around with promises not to touch Social Security money and "lock-box" ideas when real trust funds are already and by their very nature lock boxes. Trusts are also the only way a not-for-profit organization like the federal government can transfer assets from one fiscal year to another when the books must be brought to a zero balance by the end of the fiscal year.

After more than twenty years of this theft, the surpluses generated by Social Security alone have reached multiples that continue to grow, held back only by serious unemployment; i.e., fewer contributors.

In the last five years, the federal government has stolen $94.5 billion in fiscal 2000, $98.7 billion in 2001, $89 billion in 2002, $82 billion in fiscal 2003, and approximately $71 billion in fiscal 2004 that just ended September 30th for a grand five year total of $435 billion.

And that isn't the worst of it. To continue the pretense of having "borrowed" the money, the federal government pays interest to the phony trust funds. Annual interest that costs them nothing since it's merely a matter of throwing more phony bonds into the phony trusts.

This interest is figured on a five year model of interest paid on real bonds. In fiscal 2004, the interest amounted to 5.4 percent awarded, half in December and half in June, against the trust fund balance at the close of fiscal 2003 that was $1.484 trillion.

The Social Security trust funds (Federal Old Age & Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance that we normally think of as one trust fund) now stands at $1.6 trillion and change, 22.2 percent of the national debt.

And who is going to pay real money to redeem this debt when the time comes, when the supposed "baby-boomers" start to retire. Why, lo and behold, it will be the same taxpayers who contributed the surplus in the first place. Working Americans will be forced to buy back their own money plus interest.

The con artists would like you to believe that it's the government that owes itself, that this portion of the national debt held in "Intragovernmental Holdings" is a matter of one government department owing another. But it's a lie. There isn't any record whatsoever of how much departments like Defense, Education, Agriculture, or whatever, owe the Social Security trust funds. It's all a sham.

If and when the time comes to redeem these phony trust fund balances, they will be redeemed with taxpayer money. The federal government has no other source.

This is the worst form of double taxation with interest added that the world has ever seen. It makes Enron, Tyson, WorldCom, and other private sector crooks look like children playing in the same sandbox.

If George W. Bush really wanted to put money back into the economy, he could have cut payroll taxes at any time.

But nitwits like Mr. Schieffer can make the assertion that "we all know that Social Security is running out of money." Oh well, the news media is also blind to the fact that we've reached the debt limit, that Bush has run up the national debt more than a trillion dollars in less than a year and a half, or that he ran up the debt $596 billion in fiscal 2004 alone.

On the Horns of a Dilemma

When it got into the few minutes of debate about Social Security plans, Bush could have made the point that his "personal accounts" for young entry level workers would only tap into the surplus. Take some of that surplus away from the pirates who rob it. But to do so he would have to admit that there was a surplus. Something neither candidate wants to do.

Kerry, on the other hand, keeps touting the "$5.6 trillion surplus" that he claims Bush squandered or traded in for "deficits as far as the eye can see." What he doesn't tell you, and what I've covered elsewhere, is that spread over ten years most of that CBO predicted surplus came from Social Security and other entitlement overcharges. Neither candidate wants you to know that either.

All in all, what we can look forward to is nothing. Not until somebody someday sits down with those responsible and forces them to admit to the crime they've been committing. This would take a really strong independent investigative committee and we would probably be left with most of Congress and the administration in the slammer.

"Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact."

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Ed Henry is the founder of TUFF, the Taxpayers Union, and a regular columnist for Ether Zone.

Ed Henry can be reached at ctzcrank@mindspring.com

Ed's FREE pamphlet-"To The Moon, Alice" the national debt, your Social Security, and the Pay-It-Again Sam scam.

We also invite you to visit his website at www.uncle-scam.com

Published in the October 15, 2004 issue of  Ether Zone.
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