Social Security Part 1: The Problem
By: Thomas Lee Abshier, ND5/12/2005
NYT Op-Ed “Shameless Photo-Op”
Summary of NYT Editorial:
This anonymous Op-Ed piece criticizes President Bush for posing next to the file cabinet in the Bureau of Public Debt in Parkersburg, West VA and saying in effect that these bonds were not “real assets”. He likens the President’s statement to going into the vault at the Bank of Japan and doing a Photo-Op, and saying that these Treasury Bonds are worthless IOU’s. The writer calls the President’s statements “insulting and irresponsible”, and that the President has placed the “full faith and trust” of the United States debt in question in this “publicity stunt”. The writer calls the diversion of funds from Social Security an “investment”, and implies that since all Treasury securities have been paid in the past, there should be no problem in the future. He states that privatizing Social Security “is a move that would only add to the growing debt burden for future generations,” implying the superiority of the current system or some ambiguous alternate Democratic solution.
The most remarkable quotes of the article:
“Social Security takes in more money than it needs to pay current beneficiaries, and the excess is invested in the Treasury Securities that Mr. Bush was discussing. They carry the same legal and political obligations as all other forms of Treasury debt, every penny of which has always been paid in full and on time.”
“In his speech, Mr. Bush went on to acknowledge that future generations would have to make good on the debt. But the intended meaning of the photo-op was clear. In the hope of persuading people to privatize Social Security – a move that would only add to the growing debt burden for future generations – Mr. Bush wants Americans to believe that the Trust Fund is a joke.”
Note: The actual quote by President Bush at the University of West Virginia at Parkersburg was:
“A lot of people in America think there is a Trust – that we take your money in payroll taxes, and then we hold it for you, and then when you retire we give it back to you. But that’s not the way it works, there is no Trust Fund – just IOUs that I saw firsthand.”
Shameless Lies about the Theft of the American Social Security Pension FundCommentary on the New York Times’ “Shameless Photo-Op” Editorial
By: Thomas Lee Abshier, ND
In his speech, President Bush accurately presented and characterized the facts about the Social Security Trust Fund. But the NYT did not elaborate on this truth and deepen the public’s understanding of the serious consequences we face because there is no money in the Trust Fund, only a promise to tax America for the money already spent. Instead, the New York Times chose to portray the actual truth as foolish and irresponsible political posturing. The NYT could have used that space to move the country forward toward fiscal solvency by printing a discussion about the merits and problems associated with the various solutions that could solve the looming 2018 Social Security deficit. But instead, they took the utterly irresponsible and childish position of denying the problem even existed and attempted to humiliate the President for speaking the truth. The article slandered the President’s character and judgment by portraying him as an irresponsible politician casting doubt on our bond of honor to pay our national debts in order to forward his partisan agenda. But in actuality, it was the Democratic-Left Media who was actually committing the violation against truth for which they accused the President.
The commitment of Errors of Definition & Propaganda Techniques:
To create this illusion of error on the part of the President, the NYT writer first implicitly defines “assets” and “Trust Fund” erroneously, and then lampoons the President based on these specious definitions. The writer continues and implies foolishness, poor judgement, showmanship, cronyism, and embarrassing clumsiness to diminish and tarnish the President’s very sound criticism of those who call the government’s debt to Social Security a “Trust Fund” or “assets”. An honest accountant would never call money already spent, and now owed, an “investment”. The editorialist includes the truth about Social Security in his article, but he immediately discounts those facts by implying partisan or publicity motives to the President, so as to plant seeds of doubt about the statement’s truth.
The techniques of propaganda, slander, spin, smear, and obfuscation used in this piece are the tools of a deceit-meister. The NYT has clearly thrown its weight behind the author’s view, having given him print space and considered his perspective worthy of worldwide publication. We see in this editorial a sure indicator of the danger presented by the corrupt worldview and agenda of the Liberal media’s premier flagship.
The Truth about the “Trust Fund”:
The “Social Security Trust Fund” holds no assets in non-government securities. The “Trust Fund” represents only obligations the American taxpayer must pay to the Social Security beneficiaries. The government collects FICA taxes and immediately disburses a portion of those funds to beneficiaries and spends the excess on various government programs. No funds are invested in business-based interest bearing pension fund type instruments. Therefore, the taxpayer now owes the Social Security beneficiaries an amount equivalent to the entire diversion of the FICA tax excess plus interest, an amount that will ultimately total in the Trillions. To keep a strict accounting of this obligation, the government issues Treasury Bills, and stores them in Parkersburg, West Virginia. These notes are not “real assets” in the sense of representing a contract with a business to repay the government both principle and interest upon maturity. Rather, the “Trust Fund” notes oblige the taxpayer to pay the retirees from conventional taxes after having already paid once with FICA taxes.
The NYT editorialist implied that the President’s statement about the lack of “real assets” behind the “Trust Fund” was a policy statement that invalidated our debt to Foreign treasuries. The writer then pro ceded to condemn the President on this basis. In this editorial we see a masterful but diabolical twisting of facts and intention to advance the Democratic agenda. The obligation to repay foreign governments is identical to the obligation of the taxpayer to repay the monies taken from the Social Security. The difference is that we overtly call foreign notes a “debt”, while misleading the public in the renaming of the funds that were already spent a “Trust Fund”. The President did not imply that we will renege on our debt to foreign nations; rather, he correctly characterized the “Trust Fund” Treasury notes as IOUs for money already spent rather than assets based on capital invested in securities.
The ordinary reasonable man assumes the word “Trust Fund” implies a pool of funds invested in interest bearing business-based securities. He does not expect that government will tax him for one purpose, spend that money on other programs, and then expect the him, the taxpayer, to pay again for the original amount plus interest. The complexities of the federal accounting system and the misleading name, “Social Security Trust Fund”, have allowed the Federal government to spend every cent of the FICA tax excess, and call the debt to America’s retirees an “asset”. The audacity of this plunder of America’s national pension fund rivals Hitler’s big lies. And most remarkably the big lie continues to this day, with America’s media and highest ranking Democratic officials perpetuating and defending it.
Why does the Left Persist in Propagating the Big Lie?:
The absurdity of this renaming scheme stretches the imagination. The temerity of those who stand before microphone, camera, and the nation challenges our ability to believe that they could be lying. But, such is the strategy of the big lie; it’s just too big to be phony, nevertheless it is a charade. The fact that every high profile Democrat has lined up like toy soldiers to parrot the same lie bears examination. Why do the Democrats and Liberal media defend an unethical tax and spend system?
1) Possibly the majority of the ordinary citizens are uninformed and easily led astray by the group or ideological loyalty.
2) Possibly they simply cannot understand the accounting system used to transfer funds, and are fooled by names such as “Treasury Bills”, “Full faith and credit”, “Trust Fund”, and “assets”.
3) Possibly some have seen or experienced hurt and injustice and believe that by diverting funds from the retirement system into social programs would create a better world now.
4) Possibly we see the effect of a group of people with a common unseen spiritual coordination. Their specific plans may not be synchronized by overt communication and agreement, but the common spiritual goal dictates a similar set of actions, methods, and tactics to produce the desired outcome. [Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.]
The theft and diversion of these monies is an obvious accounting fact. The mostly likely explanation for the Democratic Party’s support of this lie is probably a combination of the factors mentioned above. It appears that the passion driving their actions is a fundamentalist commitment to implementing a humanistic-socialistic-globalist philosophy of solving the problems of resource distribution. To accomplish this end they support every method of directing funds into social programs to enlarge their recipient base. They have become the Robin Hood Party, taking from the richer and giving to the poorer by wealth redistribution taxes, asset usurpation, and diversion of funds from their legitimate use. Each of these tactics has become integral to attaining the Democratic Party’s goals of removing the Christian God from public life, exalting the passions and imagined “rights” of man, and placing our trust and welfare in the hands of a “beneficent and wise” State bureaucracy.
Arguments advanced by Democrats to condemn privately held accounts include:
1) There is no crisis, nothing needs to be done; let’s wait and watch and see. A lot can happen in time. [The collections will exceed FICA tax intake around 2018; 2042 is a phony date, .]2) Privatization is a Republican scheme leveraged by big business to put money into the markets to enrich their bottom lines. [The government should have been investing in the economy from the beginning rather than spending the money and taxing people again when it was time to pay for their pensions.]3) People do not want privatization because retirement accounts based on government taxation are more secure. [Social Security that depends on just a few workers in 2042 supporting every retiree is not secure.] 4) Privatization will create trillions of dollars of debt for our children to pay. [We are paying FICA taxes now with the intent to receive that principle back with interest. Instead, the government is spending that money instead of investing it. The excess money collected between now and 2018 will grow with the economy, and that much less money will need to be borrowed to fund Social Security. The time to act is now.]
Each of these arguments can be confronted and dispelled as seen above. So to understand why the Democrats are opposing privatization and reform, we must look for other reasons. It appears that maintenance of incumbency and advancement of their social agenda drives their desperate measures to continue the flow of these stolen funds. By positioning themselves as the Party of gifts and social programs, they can create a class of citizens dependent on government support and thereby maintain a loyal voting block.
This effort to defeat Social Security reform has shown the efficacy of the Left’s propaganda machine and the loyalty of their followers. An outright lie has proven more appealing and believable to the masses than truth. This defeat of common sense indicates the depth of crisis we face and indicates the population’s susceptibility to embracing future truly pernicious governmental initiatives. This progressive decay of moral-social discrimination may portend an eventual collapse of our nation’s social-economic structure (e.g. through various crises handled unwisely such as war, poverty, inflation, debt, environment, energy, and/or, unrest). We will move away from the abyss of national self-destruction as we embrace Godly righteousness and the high standards of our Christian heritage.