'Trust funds' not what they appear to be

Posted8/6/2014 5:01 AM

Recently there have been more newspaper articles about the alleged threat to Social Security, Medicare, disability and other benefits from the depleting levels of the so called "trust funds" for each of those benefits. These are no more than big lies being foisted upon us poor citizens who are presumed to not know any better. There may be some writers and some senior federal elected and appointed public officials who actually believe these lies, but most of those people do know the truth.

The truth is that these so called "trust funds" are absolutely meaningless and thus worthless. All of the "assets" held by these "trust funds" are glorified IOU's from the U.S. Treasury. On a consolidated basis the "assets" and "related liabilities" offset each other, the result being there are no such real assets or liabilities. Even the government's own 42-page audited financial report for 2013 states, "Because the OASI and DI Trust Funds and the U.S. Treasury are both part of the Government, these assets and liabilities offset each other for consolidation purposes in the U.S. Government-wide financial statements. For this reason, they do not represent a net asset or a net liability in the U.S. Government-wide financial statements."

It takes hundreds of highly paid federal employees and millions of tax dollars to account for and report on these meaningless financial activities. Congress could, and I believe should, simply pass legislation that would eliminate these "trust funds" and establish the various benefits as entitlements that should be paid out of the government's general funds just like all other government expenses.

The only reason for perpetuating these lies is to use them as a reason to raise taxes, reduce benefits and maintain unneeded bureaucracies. I challenge anyone to disprove anything I have written here.

Roland G. Ley

Arlington Heights

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