Thursday, April 07, 2005

Okay maybe they're still idiots

Bush visits Social Security trust fund
Tuesday, April 5, 2005 8:20:17 PM

WASHINGTON (AFX) - President Bush, seeking to make a point about Social Security's long-term solvency, traveled to West Virginia Tuesday to visit the federal facility that houses copies of the Treasury bonds that make up the program's trust fund

"A lot of people in America think there is a trust -- that we take your money in payroll taxes and then we hold it for you and then when you retire, we give it back to you," Bush said later in a speech at the University of West Virginia at Parkersburg. "But that's not the way it works. There is no trust fund, just IOUs that I saw firsthand," Bush said. Democrats charged that the president's remarks were misleading, as well as dangerously close to implying that the federal government won't stand behind trillions of dollars in debt held by creditors around the globe

"If the 'full faith and credit' of the United States means 'just IOUs' then our entire financial system will come tumbling down," said Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., the senior Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee

In a letter to Bush, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said the president's statements about the trust fund "could raise needless doubts among American and foreign investors about the United States' willingness to meet its fiscal obligations. This has potentially broad ranging and damaging implications for our economy." At issue are the special-issue Treasury bonds - now totaling around $1.7 trillion - that make up the trust fund. Paper facsimiles of the bonds, which like most modern-day securities are issued in electronic form, are held in a file cabinet at the Office of Public Debt Accounting. That's what Bush visited earlier in the day

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