Chris Christie's entire platform is the destruction of Social Security, so it came as no surprise that he tangled with Mike Huckabee over it in Wednesday's debate.
He led off by announcing to Republican primary voters that government has "stolen" their Social Security money, which is an outright lie, of course.
CHRISTIE: The federal government has "stolen" the Social Security taxes paid by workers and spent it on other things. "It isn't their money any more... It got stolen from them. It's not theirs anymore. The government stole it and spent it a long time ago."
THE FACTS: The money is not stolen, it's borrowed.
Over the past 30 years, Social Security has collected about $2.7 trillion more in payroll taxes than it has paid in benefits. By law, the Treasury Department has invested the surplus in U.S. Treasury bonds.
Over that same time period, the federal government has run budget deficits in all but a few years. To finance the deficits, the government has borrowed money, from other government agencies as well as public debt markets.
The money from Social Security has been spent, but Social Security holds Treasury bonds worth $2.7 trillion, backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Saying the money has been stolen assumes that the federal government will not honor the bonds.
Social Security has been paying out more in benefits than it collects in taxes since 2010. The program has been able to pay full benefits because the federal government has honored the bonds.
Christie neglected to mention St. Ronnie's role in the "reform" of Social Security so the trust fund could be invested in federal bonds, which the erstwhile "saint" then spent with tax cuts and running up the deficit.
To be perfectly accurate, what Christie should have said was that Saint Ronnie the Greedy One set up the perfect scenario for today's Republican party to steal from them.