The intent of the 1983 legislation was to generate large Social Security surpluses for the next 30 years that were supposed to be saved and invested, in order to build up a large reserve in the trust fund that could later be drawn down to pay benefits to the baby boomers. The 1983 payroll tax hike has generated more than $2.5 trillion that is supposed to be in the trust fund. If the trust fund actually held this amount in real assets, full Social Security benefits could be paid until at least 2037 without any changes. Unfortunately, none of the surplus revenue was saved or invested in anything. It was all spent by the government on wars and other government programs without making any provisions for repaying the money.
Prior to 1983, Social Security had operated on a “pay-as-you-go” basis with each generation responsible for paying for the benefits of the generation that preceded them. The 1983 legislation changed the nature of Social Security funding. In addition to paying for the benefits of the preceding generation, as was customary, the baby boomers were also required to pay additional taxes to partially pre-fund their own retirement. The net result is that the baby boomers have paid more into Social Security than any other generation. Yet they are often made scapegoats and blamed for the Social Security funding problem. We are getting a bum rap.
Over the past 25 years, five presidents, and the members of Congress, have participated in the great Social Security scam. All Social Security contributions made by working Americans, except the amount which was needed to pay current retirement benefits, has been funneled into the general fund and used for non-Social Security purposes. Some like to say that the government just “borrowed” the money during the time period when it was not needed to pay benefits. If the money is not repaid in full, with interest, it will have been stolen by the government from working Americans who paid into the fund. Congress must pay their debt to the American workers. They should be held accountable for the $4.63 trillion that they have borrowed. Forgiving this debt is not an option! Section 13301 of the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990 made it a violation of federal law to use Social Security revenue for non-Social Security purposes. As of 2011 4.63 trillion dollars have been stolen from SS. My questions are, why aren’t these politicians behind bars and what recourse do we have to prosecute these scoundrels?? Gus Piliafas