In a radio interview, Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), a prominent US Congresswoman and frequent commentator on radio and MSNBC cable TV, is confused about the SSA Trust Fund. Frequent readers of econscius might have directed the Congresswoman to my post https://econscius.wordpress.com/2011/07/18/no-check-for-grandma-wheres-the-social-security-trust-fund/.
Congresswoman Schakowsky cannot explain the contradiction between having a trust fund that will “pay benefits fully until 2037” and the fact Social Security checks may not go out as soon as August 3, 2011. Schakowsky eventually says, “Social Security is essentially a pay as you go system”, which is the crux of the problem. Because Social Security’s Trust Fund is solely “invested” in US Treasury obligations, Social Security’s health is completed tied to the decreasing financial health of the US government.
You can find the radio interview linked here at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoDvkhnNdXo with the Trust Fund discussed through the 2:03 mark.