Wednesday, June 29, 2011

SOCIAL SECURITY FACTS - CONGRESS BLEW THE MONEY AND OWES IT!

Submitted by: John Butler

How much has Social Security paid out since it started?
A:  From 1937 (when the first payments were made) through 2009 the Social Security program has expended $11.3 trillion.

 How much has Social Security taken in taxes and other income since it started?
A:  From 1937 (when taxes were first collected) through 2009 the Social Security program has received $13.8 trillion in income.

  Has Social Security always taken in more money each year than it needed to pay benefits?

A:  No. So far there have been 11 years in which the Social Security program did not take enough in FICA taxes to pay the current year's benefits. During these years, Trust Fund bonds in the amount of about $24 billion made up the difference. (See detailed Table.)


Q27:  Do the Social Security Trust Funds earn interest?

A:  Yes they do. By law, the assets of the Social Security program must be invested in securities guaranteed as to both principal and interest. The Trust Funds hold a mix of short-term and long-term government bonds. The Trust Funds can hold both regular Treasury securities and "special obligation" securities issued only to federal trust funds. In practice, most of the securities in the Social Security Trust Funds are of the "special obligation" type. (See additional explanation from SSA's Office of the Actuary.)

The Trust Funds earn interest which is set at the average market yield on long-term Treasury securities. Interest earnings on the invested assets of the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds were $55.5 billion in calendar year 1999. This represented an effective annual interest rate of 6.9 percent.

The Trust Funds have earned interest in every year since the program began. More detailed information on the Trust Fund investments can be found in the Annual Report of the Social Security Trustees and on the Actuary's webpages concerning the Investment Transactions and Investment Holdings

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