Sean Kennedy | All Articles

Sean Kennedy
Sean Kennedy
Visiting Fellow, Lexington Institute

Is the Postal Service eyeing your piggy bank?

5:45 PM 04/05/2012

During the 2000 election, “Saturday Night Live” had a field day with Al Gore’s suggestion that Social Security and Medicare be put into an “ironclad lockbox.” Congress would not be able to use the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds “as a piggy bank for other programs.” Gore’s idea never got traction. Instead, Congress borrowed against these “trust funds” and wrote itself $4.7 trillion in IOUs. That could happen only because such federal trust funds are a fiction, since the Treasury Department keeps nothing in reserve --- paying bills as they come due with funds raised through taxing and borrowing.