In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Bachmann: Social Security A 'Tremendous Fraud' (VIDEO)


Note that much of what was said above about the nature of Social Security is not true. Asman makes it sound like it was a system of personal savings accounts all along. It has never been such a thing -- it has always been a public pension system funded out of taxes on current wage-earners, under the social guarantee that when they retired there would be new workers who would in turn pay into the system. Also the bit about "empty IOUs" refers to the federal government issuing treasury bonds to the Social Security Administration in exchange for money taken from the system. Bonds are legally required to be paid off with future tax revenues -- and cannot be "empty," because debt repudiation by the government is illegal under the 14th Amendment.

She explained: "But this -- ultimately what we have to do is cut government spending at almost every level, and we've gotta get our house in order. We need entitlement reform with Medicare and with Social Security. There's plans on the table right now. There's a roadmap that I think all of us need to look at. This is a top priority, because there are people who are truly vulnerable who are going to be hurt if we don't get this house in order."

Bachmann explained what privatization could look like, in a more toned down phrasing than her previous statements. "Well, we need to do, like you said, is people who are currently on Social Security need to have the promise kept to them. Also, people within about ten years of receiving Social Security, they're in a very difficult position," said Bachmann. "But people that are younger than those ages, they need to have some options in their lives, so that going forward they can have an ownership of their own Social Security, their own retirement."

Bachmann had previously said: "So, what you have to do, is keep faith with the people that are already in the system, that don't have any other options, we have to keep faith with them. But basically what we have to do is wean everybody else off. And wean everybody off because we have to take those unfunded net liabilities off our bank sheet, we can't do it."

"Wean everybody off," and "take those unfunded net liabilities off our bank sheet," do sound quite a bit different from "have some options."