Old Folks Can Thank China for Their Social Security Checks

Posted by:  Richard Kuykendall

Is the Social Security Trust Fund taking it on the chin as a result of the payroll tax cut?  Apparently not.

Thanks to the federal government’s adroit manipulation—I mean management—of our federal finances, the Trust Fund won’t be missing a single penny of the $180 billion or so in “tax cuts” (notice that no one is calling the temporary reduction “temporary”) that President Populist wants to funnel to American workers—at least those who are still employed.

On the White House Blog, a faceless bureaucrat with a 25-cent title tells the nation not to worry about the Trust Fund. It’s all being taken care of by the General Fund.  Right. China.

The opening sentence is particularly amusing.  I’d lay money this guy hasn’t spoken to anyone outside the Beltway in the past three years, at least.

Posted by Jon Carson on December 09, 2011 at 02:53 PM EST

Lately, many Americans have asked me if the payroll tax cut will affect Social Security. The answer is simply no.

The payroll tax cut has given tax breaks to millions of families across the country this year, providing a boost to their pocketbooks. Extending it would ensure that taxes do not go up for nearly 160 million hardworking Americans on January 1st — an increase of $1,000 for the typical household.

While more money stays in workers’ paychecks, the law specifies that Social Security receive every dollar it would have gotten even without the payroll tax cut. This happens by automatically transferring resources from the government’s general coffers to the Social Security Trust Fund. And indeed, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration has confirmed that the payroll tax cut would have no impact on the Trust Fund.

The President believes that Social Security is a sacred compact, that in return for a lifetime of hard work, America’s seniors will have a chance to retire with dignity. We have an obligation to keep that promise and safeguard and strengthen Social Security for seniors, people with disabilities and all Americans, both now and in the future.

The President also believes in the need to spur economic growth. The payroll tax cut will generate growth and put people back to work.

Jon Carson is Deputy Assistant to President and Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement

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