Social Secutiry is such a hot-button topic that I enter into the discussion with much trepidation. However, when dealing with trillions of dollars of "our money", the concerns are completely understandable.
The Social Security Act was enacted in 1935. Today it would certainly be branded as "socialism" by those on the right wing of the political spectrum. Even so, it is a program that nearly all of us contribute to and will participate in at some point and has become part of our lives.
It is admittedly a complex accounting issue and there is a lot of confusion and misinformation on how the trust funds are managed. The simple explanation is that the government does borrow the money, issues bonds for the amount borrowed, and repays the money with interest when the bonds are redeemed. The redeemed bonds return the invested principal and generate interest, which is then used to make social security payments to retired and disabled citizens each month. This process was established by law. There is not and has never been some mythical pot of money marked "Social Security" sitting in Washington D.C. which is being raided by politicians.
For reference, the information below is largely excerpted from the Social Security Administration website at www.ssa.gov:
The Social Security Trust Funds are made up of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and the Disability Insurance Trust Funds. These funds are accounts managed by the Department of the Treasury. These accumulated assets provide automatic spending authority to pay benefits. The Social Security Act limits trust fund expenditures to benefits and administrative costs.
By law, income to the trust funds must be invested, on a daily basis, in securities guaranteed as to both principal and interest by the Federal government. All securities held by the trust funds are special issues of the United States Treasury. Such securities are available only to the trust funds.
The rate of interest on special issues is determined by a formula enacted in 1960. The rate is determined at the end of each month and applies to new investments in the following month. The annual average rate of return on all investments for the trust funds combined was 4.86% in 2009.
The investments held by the trust funds are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government. The government has always repaid Social Security with interest. The special-issue securities are, therefore, just as safe as U.S. Savings Bonds or other financial instruments of the Federal government.
I think before social security benefits are cut one dime congress needs to pay back all of the money that was "borrowed" from the trust fund and used for other programs. When you or I take a loan we are expected to pay it back and the same goes for the US congress.
R u serious? You sound like a republican who also bellies up to the trough! Even at the breakdown you provided they are making twice to three times what an averge school teacher makes and work less days! I would love a job as many would that would pay you $20 bucks an hour 24/7/365. Ask the average joe what they make, what there health plan is an I bet it is nowhere near what these "american royalty make" if they have a job or insurance.Lets not forget the perks and travel they recieve. Yes it will be interesting to see how or if they are willing to cut back on there own check while gutting the paychecks and health care plan of the working americans who elected them in the first place.
please change my what ever from I hear voices to SAY WHAT! hope you can do this for thanks.
I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say. I think Congress is grossly over payed. The fact that they spend their time at "work" babbling on about there favorite college football team as the Senate Majority leader did a few days ago mean while time was running out on doing something about the expiring tax rates. This shows how out of touch with reality congress has become. Most not all members of congress forget that they are public servants, elected buy the people to represent them. They are not the masters, we are. Until something is done about congress being able to control their own pay nothing will ever be done about that. I wish i could give myself a raise, unfortunately I think that if I tried my boss would show me the door. Only through a constitutional convention can true changes be made to prevent congress and the president from over stepping and harming this country
It's time for the "WYOMING MOUTHPIECE" to walk the walk and match his talk! When they start reducing there own "GOLDEN PARACHUTE" retirement plan for members of congress and there families. Cutting bennefits on there A+ health care plan reserved only for congress it could carry a little more merit! For far too long these overpaid "AMERICAN ROYALTY" have shafted the public and feathered there own nest !Are they freezing or reducing there salary or bennefits? $250,000 per year plus benney's is way too much for the day's they actually work and the job performance they have displayed!
Lets get the facts straight. Currently members of congress are payed $174,000 a year. The majority, and minority leaders in both the house and senate are payed $193,400 a year and the speaker of the house is payed $223,500 a year. Congress is in session an average of 175 days a year with the average work day going 7.5hrs, meaning, that the average member of congress is payed $132.57 an hour. Now if you go by the understanding that just because they are not in session doesn't mean they are not working, and that they are on the job 24/7 then there pay is more like $19.86 an hour. That being said I agree congress is way over payed and looking at some of the members voting records some only vote on half of the bills sent through. Given that about 75% of the bills sent through congress have nothing to do with there job, i.e. a bill to congratulate the super bowl champions most of there time is wasted. The only true way to fix this is to have the states themselves call for a constitutional convention, there and only there can the people attempt to set forth unbreakable rules that congress must follow during there sessions. Currently the majority party makes the congressional rules.
At $1 an hour we would still be overpaying them.