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Where's the Money?

According to the trustees "responsible" for the U.S. Social Security and Medicare trust funds have reported that in not all that long a time, both will be, well, broke. They don't talk in terms like that, of course. Rather it's all about being "drawn down" and "exhausted assets." If they truly wanted to be euphemistic they should simply say "fucked."


One of the arguments that gets bandied about regarding this forthcoming state of affairs is that there is the massive cohort of Baby Boomers that are going to, 78 million strong, bust the proverbial bank. But there's something a bit disingenuous about that. Consider: Anyone who draws a salary, is paid by check and has a legitimate Social Security number can see that they're having a bite taken out of their gross in order to fund such things as Social Security and Medicare. Which means, of course, that a good percentage of that 78 million, those who have been productive wage slaves, I mean, workers, have been placing their money in the proverbial bank. That is, they've had their money placed for them in the proverbial bank. This should mean that there is lots of money in there and that as the following generations kick in their share, all should be straight up and the books should balance. Oh, sure, there are some people who, due to unfortunate, unforeseen circumstances, have needed to tap into those moneys without having paid in as much. But that's why we live in a society that ostensibly realizes that it is important to help out others. If this country is a commonwealth, then it is about serving the public good.

Ah, but if only the government had to do its banking the way the rest of us do. The money isn't there. In effect, there are just a bunch of chits from the government. And it doesn't seem to have that cash that has been taken from our salaries doing something like, oh, collecting interest. There is evidently the fiduciary responsibility in Washington equal to that of a cadre of busted ponzi artists. All of which is to say that we'd all start getting a taste for dog food—the store brand.

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