For example, politicians of both parties claim Social Security benefits are guaranteed. Benefits are not guaranteed in a legal sense, as determined by no less than the Supreme Court. They may be “promised” and even personally “guaranteed” by politicians, as in Congress would “never” cut or eliminate them.
Same for payroll taxes, which are perceived as a dedicated revenue stream to fund benefits only. Not so, and further, paying payroll taxes does not guarantee benefits. Again, this is not an interpretation, but the plain language of the Supreme Court.
FICA Taxes are not dedicated or earmarked for Social Security benefits. The Supreme Court has ruled all FICA revenue is legally the same as other revenue, such as the income tax. It goes into general fund, co-mingles with other revenue, and then is spent.
Social Security benefits or benefit amounts are not guaranteed. The Supreme Court has ruled that Social Security benefits are no different than any other government benefit or program. Congress can cut or eliminate benefits at any time for any reason.
The “Treasury Notes” in the Trust Fund have no economic value. They do represent the federal government’s promise to repay, which is backed by the Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution. This is still the very definition of an IOU.
Legislative Remedies: Legislation generally falls into five broad categories:
No Benefit Cut bill. These guarantee that current benefits levels will not be cut, including the annual cost of living adjustment.
Social Security Benefit Guarantee bill. Social security benefits are not guaranteed and can be cut at any time for any reason.
Lockbox Bill. These come in variety of formats but all would “stop the raid,” ie spending “Social Security” on non SS items.
Repay The Trust Fund bill. Social Security will produce surpluses for another decade. This legislation would ensure it would be used for paying back existing Trust Fund debt, but further new spending.
Senior Citizen COLA bill. This is a big item that has been championed by liberals and conservatives. The short version is that the Social Security COLA is based on a formula that the government knows low balls the annual increase.
The mission of the National Senior Citizen Committee, Inc. is to preserve and protect Social Security and Medicare….. your earned and promised benefits!