Social Security Trust-Fund Quotes

Not a Real Trust Fund
Feb. 2000,
Office of Management and Budget (the White House)
“The Federal budget meaning of the term “trust,” as applied to trust fund accounts, differs significantly from its private sector usage. In the private sector, the beneficiary of a trust usually owns the trust’s assets, which are managed by a trustee who must follow the stipulations of the trust. In contrast, the Federal Government owns the assets of most Federal trust funds, and it can raise or lower future trust fund collections and payments, or change the purposes for which the collections are used, by changing existing laws.”
T-Bills Are Just Paper
Oct. 10, 2003
Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
“Computing the imbalance on the basis of “totals” implies that surpluses projected to occur early in the period will offset later deficits. But crediting surpluses to trust funds is simply a paper transaction.”
Merely Bookkeeping Entries
Oct. 10, 2003
Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
“If those reserves merely represent bookkeeping entries, receipts for Social Security are projected to fall below the program’s expenditures not in 2042 but in 2018; and for Hospital Insurance, in 2013 instead of 2026.”
Worker’s Savings Don’t Earn Interest
Oct. 10, 2003
Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
“If, instead, those reserves and interest credits are viewed as spending authority and not as real resources (that is, as money that the government can draw on), the overall 75-year deficit–and the magnitude of the legislative change needed to eliminate it–will be considerably larger.”