I know this is not what the mass media and Democrat politicians tell you. But this is the history of Social Security (FICA) according to the Social Security Administration.
President Lyndon Johnson (LBJ) was the first to use the Social Security Trust Fund surpluses to finance increased spending on Great Society programs and the Vietnam War. Technically speaking, Johnson moved the SS Trust Funds from “Off Budget” to “On Budget.” He sent legislation labeled Unified Budget Act to Congress.
LBJ’s spending was so large that even the Social Security trust funds didn’t cover his deficit. Johnson began to use SS trust funds for general budget items.
“This change took effect for the first time in the President’s budget proposal for fiscal year 1969, which President Johnson presented to Congress in January 1968. This change in accounting practices did not initially put the President’s budget proposal into surplus–it was still projecting an $8 billion deficit. However, it is clear that the budget deficit would have been somewhat larger without this change (it is difficult to say how much larger because this change was mixed-in with the other legislative, budgetary and fiscal policies the President was urging Congress to adopt).”
…” In the 1983 Social Security Amendments a provision was included mandating that Social Security be taken “off-budget” starting in FY 1993. This was a recommendation from the National Commission on Social Security Reform (aka the Greenspan Commission). The Commission’s report argued: “The National Commission believes that changes in the Social Security program should be made only for programmatic reasons, and not for purposes of balancing the budget. Those who support the removal of the operations of the trust funds from the budget believe that this policy of making changes only for programmatic reasons would be more likely to be carried out if the Social Security program were not in the unified budget.” (Note that this was a majority recommendation of the Commission, not the unanimous view of all members.) This change was in fact enacted into statute in the Social Security Amendments of 1983, signed into law by President Reagan on April 20, 1983.”
“Actuaries say that thanks to the Reagan reforms of 1983, Social Security is fully funded for 75 years. Medicare is much harder to gauge, because no one knows the future rate of growth of medical costs, which have been quite high in recent decades.”
You might find this interesting. http://www.ssa.gov/history/BudgetTreatment.html
President Clinton reversed Reagan’s reform and put your Social Security and Medicare payroll contributions (as well as your employer’s contributions on your behalf) back into the general budget, i.e. back “on budget.” Since Clinton administration the federal government has been spending your money on anything. The government takes your money, replaces it with a non-marketable, interest bearing U.S. government IOU. But you the taxpayer are paying the interest on that IOU. You are paying interest on your contributed money which the government borrowed from the trust funds.
“In 1999 President Clinton proposed investing the Social Security Trust Fund in what some might consider “risky” assets in the stock market and bonds. The stock market then was in the late stages of a bull market cycle with stock prices and indexes overvalued. Clinton told a joint meeting of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate:
|“||I propose that we commit 60 percent of the budget surplus for the next 15 years to Social Security, investing a small portion in the private sector, just as any private or State Government pension would do.” (President Bill Clinton’s 1999 State of the Union Address, January, 19, 1999.|
In 1993 President Clinton sought to increase taxes on Social Security benefits of the elderly and disabled. The final version of the bill passed by the Democrat controlled Congress increased taxes on beneficiaries from the first 50% to 85% of benefits (or “annuity payments” as they were originally called). Vice President Al Gore cast the deciding tie-breaker vote in the Senate to make the tax increase law. The Clinton-Gore tax increase on Social Security benefits imposed a 70% income tax rate on a retired couple making as little as $22,000 per year.
“Meyerson of the Democratic Socialists of America, writing in the Washington Post proposed eliminating the payroll tax altogether, for both employers and employees, claiming it would increase by $2,100 the take-home pay, and buying power, of workers making $50,000 annually.”