Friday, February 04, 2005

Don't mention the fund

A random query: in his remarks about Social Security (such as during this rally in Nebraska), why does Dubya never refer to Social Security's holdings of Treasury bonds by its proper name, the Trust Fund? He always drops the second word, e.g.

a personal retirement account will earn a greater rate of return than that which your money earns in the Social Security trust ... If you invest your money in conservative stocks and bonds, you're likely to get around a 4 percent rate of return, which is greater than double than the money you're earning right now in the Social Security trust. And over time, that means your own money will grow faster than that which is in the Social Security trust.(Applause.)

Could it be that if you spell it with with a lower case 't' and don't mention the money part, that it's not really there?

UPDATE Feb 9: It seems that yes, indeed, Dubya's inability to refer to the Trust Fund was a harbinger of its demise. Because today, there's a new line:

Some in our country think that Social Security is a trust fund -- in other words, there's a pile of money being accumulated. That's just simply not true. The money -- payroll taxes going into the Social Security are spent. They're spent on benefits and they're spent on government programs. There is no trust. We're on the ultimate pay-as-you-go system -- what goes in comes out. And so, starting in 2018, what's going in -- what's coming out is greater than what's going in. It says we've got a problem. And we'd better start dealing with it now. The longer we wait, the harder it is to fix the problem.

UPDATE: Here's a shocked Bush visiting the Social Security Trust Fund filing cabinet in West Virginia.

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