Thursday, April 07, 2005

Nancy Pelosi responds to Bush on SS Trust Fund

AP - Tuesday Bush went to the Office of Public Debt Accounting, opened a file drawer, held up a white notebook filled with pseudo Treasury securities* that represent the $1.7 trillion in treasury bonds that make up the Social Security trust fund, and stated “There is no trust ‘fund’ — just IOUs that I saw firsthand.”

Yeah, right. Now go look at your bank account. Guess what you have. Just IOUs from the bank. Look at your IRA or retirement fund. Guess what? Just IOUs.

Bush's grandstanding was not lost on Nancy Pelosi. This is from her opening statement at her press conference Wednesday:

"This is the first time that a President of the United States has declared that we, the United States Government, will not put the full faith and credit of the federal government behind the Social Security trust fund. What this President is saying is, we have two kinds of debt. Let's see how we get the debt first. It is in deficit spending, so we have to go borrow in order to keep the government going.

So where does he borrow? He borrows from the Chinese. He borrows from the Japanese. He borrows from the trust fund. And what he is saying now to the American worker: "We will honor our debt to the Chinese and the Japanese, but we are treating you differently. We are not honoring our debt to you." These are funds that workers and their employers put in the account to have a trust fund to cover any shortfall that would be there to cover their retirement benefits. And this President is openly declaring that he has no intention of paying the trust fund back what he has taken from it.

"Over the break, I was pleased with my House Democrats. They had more town meetings, well attended, very enthusiastic. They have inoculated the public against what the President is trying to do. With education and information, it has become clear to the American people that the private accounts will undermine Social Security and that they are not the way to go.

"The President says he is going to 60 cities in 60 days. I want him to make it 100 cities in 100 days, because he is getting zero progress on his tour. The relationship between deficit spending and the solvency of Social Security is becoming clearer to the American people. And the more they learn about it, the less they like about what President Bush is proposing."

[Underlining mine -- RB]

* Why "pseudo Treasury securities?" Because the real bonds are nothing more than entries in a computer. These pieces of paper are a public relations prop used by dignitaries who want to be photographed holding up pieces of paper that represent the Social Security Trust Fund of $1.7 trillion.


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