As President Barack Obama's (D) former pastor once said, "The chickens are coming home to roost." According to Allan Sloan of Fortune, the latest chickens roosting at home is the national legal Ponzi scheme, bigger than anything Bernie Madoff could ever dream about, otherwise known as Social Security.
A report from the Congressional Budget Office shows that for the first time in 25 years, Social Security is taking in less in taxes than it is spending on benefits.
Instead of helping to finance the rest of the government, as it has done for decades, our nation's biggest social program needs help from the Treasury to keep benefit checks from bouncing -- in other words, a taxpayer bailout.
In other words, Social Security, funded by present day workers to fund the retirement of past workers, with the higher earners paying more than their fair share but receiving less while lower earners put in less but ultimately getting more, is broke.
Discounting the interest that Social Security earns from its Treasury IOUs as a mere "accounting entry with no economic significance" according to Sloan who also notes that
Social Security hasn't been cash-negative since the early 1980s, when it came so close to running out of money that it was making plans to stop sending out benefit checks. That led to the famous Greenspan Commission report, which recommended trimming benefits and raising taxes, which Congress did. Those actions produced hefty cash surpluses, which until this year have helped finance the rest of the government.
But even then, it was clear the surpluses would be temporary. Now, years earlier than projected, Social Security is adding to the government's borrowing needs,
And on Obama's watch. Oh yeah, yeah, let's all say it together to spare Obama the effort "It's Bush's fault." Despite a filibuster proof Democratic majority during his term when the Democrats could have done something, it is still Bush's fault. As Bernie Madoff learned in his relatively trivial scheme, the chickens have ultimately come home and there's no money left to feed them. It's Bush's fault.