“The driver of our debt is the structure of Social Security and Medicare for future beneficiaries,” Rubio claimed.
This is a flat out, bald-faced lie. Social Security and Medicare are earned benefits. People pay a Social Security (FICA) tax and a Medicare tax during their working lives, i.e., they contribute to the program. When they retire, they are entitled to the benefits.
Further Social Security is “off budget.” This means that it’s legally separate from the rest of government spending which is “on budget.” Current Social Security tax revenues are used to pay current Social Security benefits. Social Security has been running surpluses since the mid-1980s. Therefore, Social Security doesn’t contribute one cent to the government on budget deficit or debt!
In fact, when Social Security runs a surplus as it has for decades, and the government runs an on-budget deficit, which it has since President Reagan except for two years at the end of the Clinton Administration, then Social Security is required by law to lend those surpluses to the US government to finance its on-budget deficit. It does this by buying Special Issue bonds. These are special issue bonds because Social Security can’t sell them to any other lender. These bonds become part of the Social Security Trust Fund (that Al Gore wanted to put in a “lock box.”) Current Social Security benefits are paid for by current revenues and by drawing down its surplus, i.e., redeeming its Special Issue bonds.
Thus, Senator Rubio is clearly, openly and blatantly lying about Social Security’s finances. Let’s see of the capitalist, corporate media or even Commondreams calls him on it.