Monday, January 24, 2005

Thems Were The Days...

Remember this?

Once upon a time, many years ago (1999), in a land very far away (The U.S.), the Republican Party railed against the use of annual Social Security trust fund surplus monies to "inflate the federal budget numbers". They even called such budgetary gimmickry "morally wrong".

And today?

Total Deficit(-) or Surplus in billions of dollars

Year 2004

Total Revenues 1,782

Total Outlays 2,158

Total Deficit (-) or Surplus -375

on-budget -536

off-budget (with Soc Sec) -161

So for those of you kids keeping score at home, we're using $161 billion of the 2004 Social Security trust fund surplus funds (that is, all of the currrent incoming payroll taxes not needed to fund current Social Security benefits) for tax cuts and the war in Iraq.

Oh where, oh where, have the morally right, conservative Republican budgeteers gone?

1 comment:

mondale/ferraro foreva! said...

Indeed, this point about using the social security surpluses reminds me of a presentation I saw where an economist was trying to project the government's debt levels in the future. He had 3 paths, one where social security was always on-budget, one where it was always off-budget, and then a third path where social security moved back and forth so that it always made the overall deficit look smaller - definitely seemed wise on the presenter's part - so whoever's in power come 2018 or so when social security starts costing more than it takes in i bet there's a 99% chance it will be taken off budget.