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View Diary: Should Americans Forgive the $2.5 Trillion Borrowed From Social Security? (181 comments)

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  •  Correct me if I'm wrong (0+ / 0-)

    But I seem to recall it was Reagan who was the first to begin to raid Social Security.  I wonder if it is only Republicans who have done so.

    Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth - Abraham Lincoln

    by Gustogirl on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 06:11:47 AM PST

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    •  Well you ARE wrong (2+ / 0-)
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      84thProblem, Roger Fox

      I bow to no one in my general disdain for Ronald Wilson Reagan and all his works, as a Californian I am just old enough to remember his commencing the tear down of what was the finest top to bottom public education system IN THE WORLD.

      That said, and against his nature, and indeed against an abortive effort made in 1981, Reagan did not "raid" or to anything untoward as regards the Social Security Trust Funds. When Reagan entered office the Trust Funds were hurtling towards insolvency having been cash flow negative for years, not only wasn't there anything to steal or borrow the Special Treasuries were being redeemed right down to the last dollar. And by some reckoning beyond that, Treasury Secretary Baker did some fine dancing and intra-fund borrowing to keep checks flowing prior to approval of the 1983 legislation that was the ultimate result of the Greenspan Commission. And that legislation phased tax increases in so slowly that the Trust Funds were only at 48% of their legal minimums by 1988. And since law since 1939 mandated that any such reserves be invested in Treasuries (I.e. borrowed by the GF) he was only doing the legal minimum.

      The Reagan Raid on Social Security is a pure myth. Much like the similar one that had LBJ looting the TF to pay for Vietnam. Neither happened, the dollars just were not there to steal. In fact even Bush II never managed to steal anything, in fact his Administration started redeeming principal in the DI (Disability) Trust Fund starting right in 2005, ironically at the same time that he was loudly claiming "Phony IOU!".

      Lots of what people "know" about SS breaks down once you actually examine the numbers. As the poster in this excellent post does and helpfully points the way for others to do. Read and heed.

      by Bruce Webb on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 07:25:23 AM PST

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    •  The data I have goes back to 1990 but (2+ / 0-)
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      saluda, DvCM

      the political angle is tricky.  It always ends up in cross accucations and blame shifting depending on which party has a majority in Congress or was in the White House.  It gets into hair splitting over the fiscal year calendar versus the calendar year versus inauguration dates and sessions of Congress.  

      The borrowing itself doesn't bother me as much as a politician who could use it along with the public's lack of understanding, to spread fear, confusion, and doubt.  Especially when the politician is so dishonest that he omits the role that he played as a member of Congress controlling the purse strings.  

      The bad crop of Republicans we have in Congress is hell bent on F'ing everything up so they add an element of risk that shouldn't be there.

      "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

      by leftreborn on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 08:01:26 AM PST

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