Save us from our friends: “Social Security” edition

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There exists an organization called SOCIAL SECURITY WORKS. They oppose cuts to Social Security. They are our friends.

Heaven help us.

Here are direct quotes from their website:

Social Security belongs to the workers and their families who have worked hard, paid taxes in, and earned its benefits.

Not really. The taxes workers paid did nothing to earn SS benefits. Federal taxes do not fund federal spending. Our Monetarily Sovereign government creates dollars, ad hoc, when it pays bills.

The payment of Social Security benefits creates dollars; the payment of FICA destroys dollars. We could have either one without the other.

Social Security did not cause the federal deficit, and its benefits should not be cut to reduce the deficit.

This depends on how the accounting is viewed. Under some accounting, Social Security and Medicare are viewed separately from other budgeting. But considered as a whole, federal deficits merely are the differences between total tax collections and total spending.

In that view, the Social Security program has reduced the deficit, but is projected to increase the future deficit.

Left unsaid is the fact that federal deficits are economically stimulative and are necessary for a growing economy. It’s federal surpluses that are economically depressive.

The federal government found the money to bail out Wall Street; it must find the money to pay what it owes to Social Security.

The federal government pays all its debts by creating dollars. It doesn’t need to “find the money.” It never has defaulted. So IF it “owed” Social Security anything, it would pay. But any “owing” merely is accounting gimmickry.

Today’s and tomorrow’s beneficiaries – children, people with disabilities, widows, widowers, and retired workers – deserve no less.

In this, Social Security’s 75th Anniversary year, we are united in support of the following principles:

Social Security has a surplus of $2.6 trillion, which it has loaned to the federal government.

To date, the people, in paying FICA, have paid the federal government more than the government has paid to the people. This has subtracted dollars from the economy and so, has been recessive.

The notion of the right pocket “lending” to the left pocket is phony accounting. The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, does not borrow dollars. It does not need to. It creates dollars at will.. So called “borrowing” is nothing more than deposits in T-security accounts at the Federal Reserve Bank.

Social Security did not cause the federal deficit. Its benefits should not be cut to reduce the deficit.

Already discussed.

Social Security, which has stood the test of time, should not be privatized in whole or in part.

Not sure what the “test of time” refers to, but SS should not be privatized. Privatization would destroy the fundamental purpose of Social Security: Safe, reliable benefits.

The rich want to privatize Social Security so Wall Street can profit from your money, thereby guaranteeing more for the rich and less for the rest.

Social Security is insurance and should not be means-tested. Because workers pay for it, they should receive it regardless of their income or savings.

Workers don’t pay for it, but that’s not the reason SS shouldn’t be means tested. Means testing opens the door to complications and unfairness similar to the means testing complications and unfairness inherent in the U.S. tax code. Inevitably, there would be exceptions based on changing definitions of “means.”

Social Security is fully funded for more than 25 years; thereafter it has sufficient funds to meet 75 percent of promised benefits. To reassure Americans that Social Security will be there for them, Congress should act in the coming few years outside the context of deficit reduction to close this funding gap by requiring those who are most able to afford it to pay somewhat more.

The above was based on the false premise that FICA funds Social Security. To reassure Americans that Social Security will be there for them, Congress should tell the truth about Monetary Sovereignty, and the government’s unlimited ability to fund Social Security. Collecting FICA does not change that unlimited ability.

Social Security’s retirement age, already scheduled to increase from 65 to 67, should not be raised further. That would be a benefits cut that places the greatest hardship on older Americans who are in physically demanding jobs, or are otherwise unable to find or keep employment.

Social Security Works should not be satisfied to ask that there be no increases in the retirement age. They should ask that the retirement age be reduced.

Social Security, whose average benefit is $13,000 in 2010, provides vital protection against the loss of wages as the result of disability, death, or old age. Those benefits should not be reduced, including by changes to the cost of living adjustment or the benefits formula.

Social Security’s benefits should be increased for those who are most disadvantaged. The benefits, which are very important to virtually all workers and their families, are particularly crucial to those who are disadvantaged.

The benefits should be increased for everyone. For the same reasons “Medicare for All” is a worthwhile goal, so is “Social Security for All.”

Both provide the same function: Putting dollars into the hands of the populace.

Social Security Works has their heart in the right place, but not their head. Because they do not understand Monetary Sovereignty, their arguments easily can be countered by the question, “Where will the money come from”?

It’s a question that relies on a false premise, but unless SSW understands that, they always will be reduced to begging on the basis of morality while being defeated on the basis of affordability.

On balance, the Social Security Works dissemination of the false, financial narrative does more harm than good.

Save us from our friends.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty


Ten Steps to Prosperity:
1. Eliminate FICA (Click here)
2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D plus long term nursing care — for everyone (Click here)
3. Provide an Economic Bonus to every man, woman and child in America, and/or every state a per capita Economic Bonus. (Click here) Or institute a reverse income tax.
4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone. Click here
5. Salary for attending school (Click here)
6. Eliminate corporate taxes (Click here)
7. Increase the standard income tax deduction annually Click here
8. Tax the very rich (.1%) more, with higher, progressive tax rates on all forms of income. (Click here)
9. Federal ownership of all banks (Click here and here)

10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99% (Click here)

The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.

10 Steps to Economic Misery: (Click here:)
1. Maintain or increase the FICA tax..
2. Spread the myth Social Security, Medicare and the U.S. government are insolvent.
3. Cut federal employment in the military, post office, other federal agencies.
4. Broaden the income tax base so more lower income people will pay.
5. Cut financial assistance to the states.
6. Spread the myth federal taxes pay for federal spending.
7. Allow banks to trade for their own accounts; save them when their investments go sour.
8. Never prosecute any banker for criminal activity.
9. Nominate arch conservatives to the Supreme Court.
10. Reduce the federal deficit and debt

No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia.
1. A growing economy requires a growing supply of dollars (GDP=Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports)
2. All deficit spending grows the supply of dollars
3. The limit to federal deficit spending is an inflation that cannot be cured with interest rate control.
4. The limit to non-federal deficit spending is the ability to borrow.


Recessions begin an average of 2 years after the blue line first dips below zero. There was a dip below zero in 2015. Recessions are cured by a rising red line.

Monetary Sovereignty

Vertical gray bars mark recessions.

As the federal deficit growth lines drop, we approach recession, which will be cured only when the growth lines rise. Increasing federal deficit growth (aka “stimulus”) is necessary for long-term economic growth.

Mitchell’s laws:
•Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
•Any monetarily NON-sovereign government — be it city, county, state or nation — that runs an ongoing trade deficit, eventually will run out of money.
•The more federal budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes..

Liberals think the purpose of government is to protect the poor and powerless from the rich and powerful. Conservatives think the purpose of government is to protect the rich and powerful from the poor and powerless.

•The single most important problem in economics is the Gap between rich and the rest..
•Austerity is the government’s method for widening
the Gap between rich and poor.
•Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.
•Everything in economics devolves to motive, and the motive is the Gap between the rich and the rest..


8 thoughts on “Save us from our friends: “Social Security” edition

  1. Rodger, was it a typo when you said that “In that view, Social Security benefits have reduced the deficit…”? I suspect you meant that the Social Security “program” has reduced the deficit since more has been taken in FICA than has been paid in benefits. I had to stop and think about that for minute. Anyway, I have posted a link to this blog post on Facebook where I hope lots of folks will read, question, and then understand how SS really works.


  2. Sad, off-topic thought while reading the news: Plenty of money, materials, and labor for attack tunnels. None for housing, hospitals and food:

    Fears are growing of fresh hostilities in Gaza

    Hamas’s prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh boasted that Hamas has dug twice the number of tunnels the North Vietnamese had in their long war with America.

    . . . rebuilding the tens of thousands of homes destroyed or damaged in Gaza is proceeding excruciatingly slowly.

    Hamas will attack. Israel will retaliate. The Gazan people will suffer. The world will criticize Israel.

    It is ever thus.

    And perhaps not so off topic, after all.


    A plan to increase the hatred of, and disrespect for, America, worldwide:



    The “It Would Be Hilarious, If It Weren’t So Serious” Department:

    Marco Rubio, the Robotic Answering Machine

    Now we know why, as a Senator, Rubio seldom actually went into the Senate. He must have used up his three talking points on the first day, and had nothing more to say.


  3. QUESTION: If we maintain the myth that FICA taxes pay for Medicare and Social Security, then we can claim that we “paid into” the mythical “trust fund,” right? Doesn’t that make it harder for politicians to cut both programs?

    ANSWER: No, the myths make it easier. The Big Lie lets politicians falsely claim that Medicare and Social Security must be cut (or privatized) because more people are “drawing from” the programs than are “paying into” the programs. In this way politicians can divide and conquer (on behalf of Wall Street) by setting young people against their “thieving” parents.

    In today’s America there are no situations in which the Big Lie helps average people. None. Not ever. Anyone who uses the Big Lie — no matter how well intentioned — invariably widens the Gap between the rich and the rest. (As Rodger says, “Save us from our friends!”)

    The money powers know this. Hence I would not be surprised to discover that “Social Security Works” is funded by Pete Peterson or the Koch brothers. In order to make people believe the Big Lie, you pretend to want to help them. Once people believe the Big Lie, they become your slaves. (The devil always says, “I only want to help.”)

    Example of “good intentions” from the “Social Security Works”…

    “Social Security has a surplus of $2.6 trillion, which it has loaned to the federal government.”

    No. “Deficit” and “surplus” only make sense in the context of aggregate U.S. government spending and taxing. If we claim that Social Security has a “deficit” or a “surplus,” we support the Big Lie. Such terms can only be true in a fictional accounting sense, which is a charade.

    As far as Social Security “lending to” the U.S. government, I presume this means that some of the FICA tax revenue was used to buy T-securities. If so, then it is a case of the U.S. government lending to itself, which is inconsequential.


  4. Social Security Works is funded by a grant from Atlantic Philanthropies.

    Atlantic Philanthropies is owned by billionaire Chuck Feeney. The rich always seems to be behind these kind of organisations.


  5. I try to keep an open mind and you have provided great stimulus. You got me thinking in a new direction. Hope we all as a nation can keep on thinking……..or maybe start thinking on our own?


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