US Debit Obligation is $13,562 Trillion
The Obligation To Social Security Is $753 Trillion
Huffington Post 04/05/2011 04:02 pm ET | Updated Jun 05, 2011
Pay Back the Money Borrowed From Social Security?
By Sen. Don Riegle , Lori Hansen Riegle
Throughout its 75 year history, Social Security has provided critical economic security to millions of retirees, families, children and the disabled.
Social Security is paid for by the dedicated contributions of workers and their employers, has administrative costs of less than one percent, and
since it cannot borrow to fund its operations, Social Security does not contribute to the deficit. No wonder that Americans from all walks of life
consistently and overwhelmingly support our nation’s most successful social insurance program — a level of support that is not achieved by other
Social Security currently has a $2.6 trillion surplus which has been building up since the 1983 amendments and is intended to help absorb the
retirement of the baby boomers. This surplus is invested in US Treasury securities that are backed by the full faith and credit of the US government.
According to the Social Security Trustees 2010 report, Social Security can pay full benefits until 2037, at which time, if nothing were done to
strengthen its financing, Social Security would still be able to pay about 78 percent of benefits. This quarter of a century means there is time to
strengthen its financing without cutting benefits for future beneficiaries. The American people will insist that Congress do what is needed for
the program to pay full benefits and protect these benefits they were promised and have earned.
Pay Back Social Security — The Government Has Borrowed More from Social Security than any Other Entity or Foreign Government
Another argument made by Social Security opponents to raise fear about the national debt is how much our government has borrowed from China.
They never mention how much our government has borrowed from Social Security. In fact, the government has borrowed more from the Social Security
surplus than it has from any other source in the world, including China. As a result, Social Security now “owns” nearly 18 percent of the federal
debt, making it the largest single holder of US debt. The government owes almost twice as much to Social Security as it does to China and Hong Kong.
Why aren’t the opponents worried about paying back Social Security — why aren’t they talking about repaying this debt to the American people?
According to the U.S. Treasury Department’s “Monthly Statement of the Public Debt of the United States” (9.30.10), the total debt
was $13.562 trillion and was held as follows:
US Holders of Debt
42.1 % — US Individuals and Institutions
17.9 % — Social Security Trust Fund
6.0 % — US Civil Service Retirement Fund
2.1 % — US Military Retirement Fund
Foreign Holders of Debt
11.7 % — Oil Exporting Countries
9.5 % — China and Hong Kong
6.3 % — Japan
1.4 % — United Kingdom
1.3 % — Brazil
1.6 % — All other foreign countries
President Trump releases 2021 budget proposal, calls
for cuts to social safety net programs
President Donald Trump unveiled a $4.8 trillion budget Monday that seeks to balance the budget in 15 years, falling short of the the traditional Republican target of doing so over 10 years.
The election-year proposal calls for reducing future spending to Medicaid, Medicare and other social safety programs. The reductions are designed to not directly impact recipients but, similar to last year's proposal, aims
to achieve savings by reforming how Medicare pays hospitals and health care providers.
While the national deficit has grown under Trump, in part due to the president's tax cuts and a two-year budget deal that increased spending, acting White House budget director Russ
Vought touted the proposal as fiscally responsible and sought to shift blame to Congress for the deficit.MORE: Trump signs $1.4 trillion spending bill to avert government shutdown "It balances
the budget in 15 years, has more deficit reduction, $4.6 trillion, than any president's budget in history," Vought said in an interview with Fox News. "It continues to do everything we can to deal with the trillion dollar deficits that we're seeing as a result of Congress ignoring the president's spending reductions
over the first three years. We continue to grow the economy at three percent." The president's budget proposal is not expected to actually pass Congress but is seen as a blueprint for the administration's priorities.
Though the president pledged as a candidate not to cut Medicaid, Vought portrayed cuts in the budget as "saving" that amount to "good government reforms."
"There will be no cuts to Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries. This budget complies with the promise," Vought said in the Fox News interview. "There are changes to mandatory programs that achieve s
avings that are good government reforms. When we can lower the cost of a CAT scan in Medicare or lower the cost of prescription drugs or have people get back to work with a work requirement in
Medicaid or housing programs, those are things that achieve things for taxpayers and help beneficiaries get back to work."
Vought said the administration continues to request more funding for the president's border wall project, but expressed confidence that the administration is on track to deliver major progress
on the president's promised wall heading into the election. "What we've secured over three years has required the mission critical requirements along the southern border and we are going to continue to request funding,"
Vought said. "But we're going like gangbusters -- 100 miles has already been built. About 500 miles will have been built by the start of next year. We have a good story to tell as it pertains to the effort along the southern border."
Vought called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to work with the administration on an infrastructure package, something that has remained elusive over the first three years of the president's term and expressed hope that the
administration could find a way forward in working with Congress on drug pricing reform in the year ahead.
The proposal also calls for increased funding for the military and NASA, while proposing a 21% cut to foreign aid.
Pelosi put out a statement criticizing the administration's proposal on Sunday night, saying the blueprint shows "just how little he values the good health, financial security and well-being of hard-working American families."
"Year after year, President Trump's budgets have sought to inflict devastating cuts to critical lifelines that millions of Americans rely on," Pelosi said.
The budget also proposes moving the Secret Service under the umbrella of the Treasury Department "to create new efficiencies."