Promises, Promises

Posted: Friday, December 31, 2010

In the Senior Voice dated January 2011, there is an interesting article written by Senator Mark Begich regarding the fiscal health of Medicare and Social Security. He tells seniors "they are in no danger of losing benefits because right now the Social Security Trust has a 2.6 trillion surplus". Whew, am I relieved. All this time I thought the trust fund was full of I.O.U.s. Now I find that although the actual money is not sitting in a special account in Washington, this debt to seniors is secured by U.S. Treasury Bonds. But wait, who secures U.S. Treasury Bonds? Oh yes, the government. So the government, who is broke, issues treasury bonds to itself. Really?

Oh, now I am really confused. I wish Senator Begich would explain that concept a bit more so that the average senior can understand how the Trust Fund can be in Washington in the form of Treasury Bonds which is a promise that our bankrupt government will honor when the need arises. Regardless of what Sen. Begich says, it sounds like a bunch of I.O.U.s to me.

The Senator asks seniors to remember him when it comes time to vote because as he said at the end of the article," I will never stop working to make sure that happens". He is referring to the promise that you will receive your money even if there is no money. You may sleep better tonight but I 'm not sure I will.

Kathleen Schmitz


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