Over at Forbes,Josh Barro has a response to the recent news about the Social Security trust fund that is both funny and wise:
You may have heard of something called the “Social Security Trust Fund.” Here’s how it works.
There’s a staff of people at the Bureau of the Public Debt whose job is to note down how much was collected in OASDI taxes (the largest chunk of payroll tax) and how much was paid out in Social Security benefits. They take that difference and they write it on a slip of paper. Then, they put it with all the slips from previous years, which are stored in a Very Important File Drawer somewhere in West Virginia.
Lately, the government has been sending out more in benefits than it has collected in OASDI taxes. This means that the Bureau of the Public Debt employees have had to write negative numbers on the slips, which makes them sad. They’re sad because, eventually, the sum total of the figures on all the slips of paper will be negative, which will cause your grandmother to starve to death.