Republicans have never liked Social Security, going all the way back to August 14, 1935, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law. For decades, congressional Republicans, rigorously supported by Republican presidents, have been attempting to steal the trillions from the “lock-box” of the self-sustaining Social Security Trust Fund.
The principle message of Social Security’s opponents, perpetrated since Roosevelt’s signature was dry, is the blatant lie that the checks are handouts forced from unwilling taxpayers. In reality, these payments come from the workers’ own earnings with 6.2% of gross withheld and deposited in special mandated savings accounts authorized by the “Federal Insurance Contributions Act” (FICA).
Employers equally match those FICA withholdings. This FICA money is held in the “lock box” and dispensed monthly to contributors beginning at 62 until death. Surviving spouses and ex-spouses continue to receive those checks until their deaths.
The “lock box” (The Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund) consists of trust funds that provide for payment of Social Security (Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance) benefits administered by the United States Social Security Administration
Currently, the Trust Funds contain about $4 trillion. They are required by law to be invested in non-marketable securities issued and guaranteed by the “full faith and credit” of the federal government. These securities earn a market rate of interest.
Excess funds can be ”borrowed” by the government for non-Social Security purposes, creating the obligations to the Social Security Administration and thus program recipients. Trust Fund obligations are considered “intra-governmental” debt, a component of the “public” or “national” debt. The securities in the Trust Fund represent a legal obligation the government must honor.
$4 trillion is a lot of money, and Washington “Vultures” are dying to get their hands on it.