Sharron Angle Tells Harry Reid To 'Man Up' On The Need For Social Security Privatization

Nothing like more fear mongering from Republicans and pushing the myth that we need to turn the Social Security trust fund over to Wall Street in order to "save it", but that's what we heard from Sharron Angle during her debate in Las Vegas with

Nothing like more fearmongering from Republicans and pushing the myth that we need to turn the Social Security trust fund over to Wall Street in order to "save it", but that's what we heard from Sharron Angle during her debate in Las Vegas with Harry Reid.

The moderator asks Reid about the Social Security trust fund and Angle’s claim that Reid helped to raid the fund to offset the deficit. Reid defended his position on Social Security and talked about fighting against George Bush’s attempt to privatize it and also pointed out that the fund is solvent for the next thirty five or forty years and after that even if they don’t do something to fix it, the short fall would be about fifteen or twenty percent.

Reid asked to stop the fear mongering over Social Security and whether those T-bills would be paid back or not. Here was Angle's response.

Man up Harry Reid. You need to understand that we have a problem with Social Security. That problem was created because of government taking that money out of the Social Security trust fund. In 1990 you said it was stealing to use Social Security for anything but Social Security and then you voted to take that Social Security money into the general fund where it leads to general use for generally anything.

When you did that you left IOUs there, the special Treasury bonds that are kept in a filing cabinet in Parkersburg West Virginia. What we need to do is keep our promises to our senior citizens by putting the money back in the trust fund and going forward allowing our workers to have the option of a personalized Social Security retirement plan that becomes an asset plan to them just like your THRIFT savings plan is an asset to you. If it’s good enough for you, it should be good enough for the rest of us.

I'm still trying to figure out what "vote" she's talking about, because the money does not go into the general fund whether they've borrowed against it or not as noted in the link below, and as FDR's grandson pointed out back in August. Angle appeared to be reading straight from the writings of Dr. Allen Smith who claims that the trust fund has been "embezzled" because the politicians have allowed the funds to be borrowed against. While I agree that they should not have borrowed against those funds, and I think they should be paid back, Sharron Angle's "solution" of privatization is utterly ridiculous. You notice that she also says that the money need to be "put back" into the fund to take care of seniors, but doesn't say where that money should come from.

Listening to the doublespeak out of this woman is enough to give a person whiplash, but she's not the only one doing this. She was simply reading straight out of the Republican playbook. They all hate Social Security and always have and want to dismantle it. They'd get rid of it for seniors and everyone else who is collecting those benefits now except they know they'd be run out of town on a rail if they tried.

From the Social Security government web site and their myths and misinformation about Social Security.

Q1. Which political party took Social Security from the independent trust fund and put it into the general fund so that Congress could spend it?

A1: There has never been any change in the way the Social Security program is financed or the way that Social Security payroll taxes are used by the federal government. The Social Security Trust Fund was created in 1939 as part of the Amendments enacted in that year. From its inception, the Trust Fund has always worked the same way. The Social Security Trust Fund has never been "put into the general fund of the government."

Most likely this question comes from a confusion between the financing of the Social Security program and the way the Social Security Trust Fund is treated in federal budget accounting. Starting in 1969 (due to action by the Johnson Administration in 1968) the transactions to the Trust Fund were included in what is known as the "unified budget." This means that every function of the federal government is included in a single budget. This is sometimes described by saying that the Social Security Trust Funds are "on-budget." This budget treatment of the Social Security Trust Fund continued until 1990 when the Trust Funds were again taken "off-budget." This means only that they are shown as a separate account in the federal budget. But whether the Trust Funds are "on-budget" or "off-budget" is primarily a question of accounting practices--it has no effect on the actual operations of the Trust Fund itself.

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