What is so irritating to this Social Security taxpayer is that l have, in effect, overpaid my Social Security contributions since 1983 in order to build up the trust fund. The President insults me and other contributors by implying that the funds are tied up in worthless Treasury bonds, or lOUs. That's not what we were told when asked to dig deeper into our pockets. Moreover, if the objective of Bush's remarks is to prepare the way for a default on these Treasury securities, one wonders if he knows what he will do to the bond market and the pension funds that hold Treasury bonds: he is campaigning to discredit any Treasury bonds (and any corporate bonds, since they constitute lOUs, too).
The default will be a monumental theft from Social Security taxpayers in favor of the high-income taxpayers whom Bush presumably would immunize against taxes for redeeming the bonds when Social Security needs the money to pay scheduled benefits to my children and grandchildren. (I will be long gone.) This is multigenerational grand Larceny!
To help the President with a conceptual problem, let's think of those bonds in the trust fund as a debt owed to the Social Security program by the government. Yes, the bonds are paper. But they are paper in the class of another piece of paper, the US Constitution.