We’ve all heard quite a lot about the Social Security Trust Fund in the news lately. I had to laugh the other day when reading the article, “What Social Security trust fund?’” written by Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post (13 Mar 11) when he said such things as:
(1) “The claim is a breathtaking fraud.” (Referring to the Obama administration’s claim – “As Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew wrote in USA Today just a few weeks ago, the trust fund is solvent until 2037. Therefore, Social Security is now off the table in debt-reduction talks.”)
(2) “The Social Security trust fund is fiction.”
(3) “So the Social Security trust fund contains – nothing.”
(4) “The lockbox, the balances, the pieces of paper, amount to nothing.”
Now I don’t know if all this is true or not. This is not my beef. I’ve got my feet planted and I’m barking up another tree. Although, if you are depending on the Social Security Trust Fund to be there when you retire, as I am; this is most likely very important to you. Most of us probably have the very same outlook – we hope it’s out there!
But, no. I’m gonna head in another direction entirely.
Upon departing the military after twelve years, I spent the next twenty-five working in various manufacturing industries throughout more than several locals in Texas. A great many of you out there have done so also and may be familiar with what I am about to address. I positive you will be.
Over and over again, I saw members of the workforce that I just knew, in my military mind, could not possibly be citizens and may not, for that matter, have the correct documentation. Upon addressing the problem to my local Human Resource constabulary, I routinely received the same answer: “We have a procedure to check and their paper (driver’s license, etc) looked good and so did their Social Security card.” These employees always had a friend already employed who vouched for them and helped them get their job. Invariably, everywhere I worked this was the case.
Well OK, their paper looked OK. So what’s the beef?
I’ll tell you what’s the beef. My problem is that I don’t know “where’s the beef?” Even Carla wants to know. Every payroll on everyone of those papers-looked-good individuals money was withheld and sent off to the Social Security Administration. The employer also paid his fair share into the “Trust Fund.”
So, if let’s just say some of those Social Security Numbers (SSNs) were real account numbers, but most likely didn’t actually really belong to the local-current-card-holder. So, why didn’t something happen?
Let’s assume that the original holder was alive and kickin’. Wouldn’t the Social Security Administration notice that they were getting contributions from two separate employers and addresses. They can’t be that dense up there in Washington, can they? You probably have an opinion on this already.
And in the case of an individual who had become deceased at some point earlier, either before receiving payments or after payments had been stopped upon death; wouldn’t you think they would notice that also? I do.
I know there are those of you out there that know of what I speak. I know you know individuals who fit the mold that I address here. They are everywhere in our workforce. At the numbers the authorities assume exist undocumented within our borders, they would have to be. Maybe the term documented is where the confusion comes in. If they hold a Social Security card; are they now documented?
As best I can tell, the Social Security Trust Fund should show a SURPLUS. If my theory be true, just if; where’s the beef?