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View Diary: Scarborough is complaining that "taxing the rich" won't "fix" Social Security (26 comments)

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  •  Those are basically accounting tricks (0+ / 0-)

    the bottom line is that revenue going into the federal government coffers is completely fungible and that surplus is completely, absolutely meaningless in any real sense.

    •  It needs to stop being fungible because that tax (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink, jamess

      is not fungible in terms of how we can pay it back.  If they gave the money to the wealthy and to the military then both those have to be factored in.  If they gave us all tax cuts(which they did) then we our taxes need to be raised, we need to consider the SS money the same as if we lent it to China.

    •  That's not true (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jamess, Calamity Jean

      It is not "fungible", the Federal Government had to borrow those funds not re-appropriate them. The SS Trust owns Treasuries and the Treasury Department is required by the Constitution to honor debts. It can no more fail to pay back these treasuries then it can fail to pay back treasuries owned by any other pension fund.

      •  No, that is not how it works (in theory) (0+ / 0-)

        a lot of people made that argument in the past, but Obama's payroll tax cut/holiday put the lie to that misinformation:

        Wouldn’t expanding the payroll tax holiday just make this problem worse?

        No. Under the current payroll tax cut that expires at the end of this year, employees are only paying 4.2 percent – instead of the standard 6.2 percent – of their wages into the Trust Fund. The original legislation for this policy (as well as the BPC proposal for a full holiday), however, ensures that the Trust Fund is not shortchanged. The General Fund of the government will transfer the foregone revenue dollar for dollar back to the Trust Fund, such that it is made whole in real time with no impact on Social Security’s financing. This is one apprehension that can be put to rest.

        link

        IOW, the $$s seemlessly sloss back and forth between the general fund and the SS "lockbox"

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