Once Again, the Social Security Trust Fund Has No Money in It

David C. John /

Almost as soon as the 2010 Social Security trustees report comes out today, various groups will claim that the program is fiscally healthy because its trust fund won’t run out until sometime in the 2030s. Sadly, the reality is very different.

The trust fund contains promises to pay—not real money. Those promises are in the form of special issue U.S. Treasury bonds, so they have legal standing, but there is no Scrooge McDuck-like vault filled with cash.

Instead, as Bill Clinton’s OMB noted back in 2000: (more…)