Harry Reid: Social Security Has Not Added “One Penny” To The National Debt In 75 Years

That’s not an accurate statement:

Washington (CNSNews.com) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Monday disputed warnings that Social Security is headed for bankruptcy, calling those assertions an “outright lie.” And he says the huge federal entitlement program has not added “one penny” to the federal deficit.
Both of Reid’s claims are misleading.

Reid made the comments at a “Back Off Social Security” rally at the Capitol on Monday. Reid was joined by other Senate Democrats and liberal activists, who accuse Republicans of plotting to privatize Social Security. Democrats have used similar tactics in the past to scare senior citizens, who vote in large numbers.

“Social Security has not contributed one penny to the debt or the deficit ever in its 75 years,” Reid said at Monday’s event.

Here’s the problem with Reid’s statement: For years Social Security had surpluses in revenues, meaning the program collected more in taxes then were needed to pay out in benefits, and those surpluses were put into the program’s trust fund. But right now, Social Security is running a deficit. It has more benefit obligations to pay out than it is collecting in revenues, so the program is falling back on its trust fund.

So no sweat, right?

The problem is that Congress has been borrowing money from the trust fund for decades and replacing the funds with US Treasury Bonds. Now that Social Security needs to rely on its trust fund, the US Treasury must pay back those bonds. And the only way for the Treasury to make good on those bonds is to borrow money and add to the national debt.

Because, I don’t think I need to remind you folks, the federal government has a $1.6 trillion budget deficit and a nearly $15 trillion national debt.

Reid, who despite appearances and demeanors isn’t a dullard, knows this. Which means he’s flat-out lying.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • robert108

    A truly Clintonesque lie. It’s added a whole lot more than one penny to our financial mess.

  • Bat One

    Harry Reid, a leading Democrat, lying his leftwing ass off. Who would have thunk it?

  • Bat One

    Incidentally, it was Democrat Lyndon Baines Johnson and a Democrat Congress that came up with so-called “unified budget” by which ruse deficits brought on by Vietnam War spending and War on Poverty spending were hidden by the gimmick of taking the SS surpluses from the Trust Fund and replacing those funds with “special” Treasury Bonds. Democrat LBJ claimed a budget surplus, which was a lie, and now those bonds have to be redeemed out of General Fund revenues to pay for the Social Security shortages.

    Over the next 25-30 years, the cost to the Treasury (and the US taxpayer) of redeeming those bonds to make the promised SS benefit payments will only escalate. Enormously.

    It s the price we pay for trusting Democrats. Particularly where the nation’s finances are concerned. Harry Reid’s blatantly dishonest remarks only prove my point.

    • $8194357

      Quote from John Adams:

      A commitment to transparency must cut across partisan lines. Founding Father John Adams was keenly aware of the relationship between secrecy and corruption:

      Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right, from the frame of their nature, to knowledge, as their great Creator, who does nothing in vain, has given them understandings, and a desire to know; but besides this, they have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge; I mean, of the characters and conduct of their rulers.

      More folks should read the writings of our founders generation…It isn’t taught as it used to be and most folks are illiterate in real Foundational history. We have strayed way left of our original roots and not for the better, in my opinion. Call it Progressive or whatever you want to call it…..It hasn’t been for the better…

  • NDSuperman

    I got into an car accident once with a fellow who just couldn’t believe that he was in the wrong. A police officer sited him for a “failure to yield” and a witness stopped to verify what had happened. Anyway, despite the evidence (damage on the cars), the investigation by the officer, the testimony of an unbiased witness, and my own testimony, this guy just refused to believe that he had done something wrong, and began making up these untrue scenarios to try to justify the accident…first I was speeding, then I was in the turning lane and decided to go straight at the last second, then I must have been weaving between cars, and so on. He believed in these fiction excuses so definitely, it was as if his subconscious would not let him assume the responsibility that he could have possibly been at fault.

    Reminds me of Harry Reid

    • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

      Reminds me more of someone else. Did this happen in Hawaii?

  • tarpon

    All the SS money is in Al Gore’s lockbox, right?

  • DopeyDem

    Only spending can create debt.

  • ken

    Your all a bunch of idiots.

    • mickey_moussaoui

      ken, it’s “you’re”, as in: “You’re confused on the proper use of YOUR. Idiot!

    • Lianne

      Ken, the word should be You’re (you are) not your (shows ownership—your brain, your mouth, your car). but I know you knew that.

    • Lgbpop

      Please post a few more times. It’s so refreshing to see posts utterly devoid of sense, logic or good manners. Really, that’s all you get when conservatives post here.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      That’s “you’re.”

      Genius.

    • t in texas

      Name calling, and improper use of the English language, always wins an argument. Poor Ken. Try educating yourself.

  • 2hotel9

    What a lying piece of sh*t. And ken ain’t no great shakes, either.

  • WOOF

    Calling the The Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund that people pay into all their working lives an entitlement,that’s a flat out lie.

    Never heard of taxation?
    Full faith and credit of the US gov’t
    “the only way for the Treasury to make good on those bonds is to borrow money and add to the national debt.”

    • 2hotel9

      More lies and sh*t spew from woofie, as usual. It is and entitlement because the government that created it calls it an entitlement, you stupid c*nt.

      • WOOF

        1) Slime ball cons like you define entitlement as something people get for nothing.
        2) I ain’t your mother

        “you stupid c*nt. ”

        • 2hotel9

          Really? Your hero, FDR, is the one who called Social Security and “entitlement”, so why don’t you take it up with him, stupid c*nt.

    • Bat One

      The real lie, WOOFIE, is that people are paying into the Trust Fund. They aren’t. And they haven’t been. The money we’ve all been paying in has been going out to pay for benefits. The only thing in the so-called Trust Fund is IOUs that we’ll have to pay off all over again.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4RKUEHF3NG2Z32RT4B5A3Y7HUE Kenny

        That’s not entirely fair. People ARE paying into the “fund”, and then politicians are robbing the fund to pay for other pet projects.

        The entire “Clinton surplus” was funded with money raided from Social Security.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      What part of “the government paid money to itself and is now broke” do you not understand?

      • 2hotel9

        That is woofie’s favorite part. Anything that drags America down, that is all woofie is looking for.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4RKUEHF3NG2Z32RT4B5A3Y7HUE Kenny

      Yet the program STARTED out as an entitlement, giving money to people who hadn’t earned it and had paid nothing into the system. For over a decade the program worked to give people money they had taken from others. It would only be years into the program that people started retiring who had paid in. In all of the early cases, they paid people more money than they had gotten from them in revenue.

      Given that history, calling it an entitlement is fair.

      • 2hotel9

        That and the fact FDR called it an “entitlement” from its creation.

  • Jvette

    The dems did what the dems always do, they saw the surplus in the SS trust fund as a slush fund and raided it to pay for all the other crap they just had to finance to please their “base” and get reelected.

    So, in effect, the SS fund did increase the deficit because without all that money just lying around waiting to be used for BS government programs, the you know what would have hit the fan before now. Taxpayers would have realized just how much money the government is confiscating and cried foul long ago.

    • ndoldman

      You forgot to mention that oboma care is pre-set up that way to save the parisites (demacrat ) time when that money is wasted on Re-election skeems.

  • Bat One

    As much as I resent Harry Reid’s in-your-face lying about this, what’s worse, far worse, is his presumption that we are all stupid enough to believe his sorry, lying, Democrat ass.

    • t in texas

      Unfortunately, about 50% of us ARE stupid enough to believe his sorry, lying, Democrat ass. Thank you, teachers unions, for dumbing us down.

  • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com Goon

    Holy Cow what a buffoon… He can’t be serious?

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Yes, he’s serious unfortunately.

  • Robert Johnson

    This is almost as funny as when Sen. Reid said that paying income tax is “voluntary”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7mRSI8yWwg

  • SigFan

    Reid lying is nothing new, it’s just his way of talking. The problem is that at least half the people in this country are stupid enough to believe him. Until Obamacare, SS was the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on the American public. If allowed to stand, Obamacare will eclipse it in short order. Obamacare needs to be stricken from the law, and SS needs to be reformed – if only the politicians had the balls for it.

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