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In November, 2010, my wife heard an alarming discussion on NPR about the Social Security Trust Fund, and I did some research to find out more. What I found was astonishing. An economist named Allen Smith, Ph.D, has been researching this for more than a decade, and has documented it in a book called The Looting of Social Security.

Apparently in 1983 Ronald Reagan and Alan Greenspan decided to double Social Security taxes, allegedly to balance the Social Security Trust Fund for future payments in the future, but then diverted (that is, stole) any excess tax payments and used them to run the government, replacing the money lost to tax cuts that Reagan had granted to the wealthiest of Americans. They then changed the Treasury Notes issued to the Trust Fund so that they were non-marketable, that is, unlike the Treasury Notes bought by individuals and banks, they were just IOU's on paper that could not be sold. (No, this is not a joke. It's all documented.) This practice continues to today.

Today the Social Security Trust Fund has no assets other than $2.5 trillion of these worthless paper promissory notes. In a few years, when the amount of money coming into the fund is insufficient to pay retirement checks, the government will need to increase taxes or borrow more money to make up the difference.

Allen Smith's suggestion is that we demand that this be changed immediately, to stop this theft of the Trust Fund, and to replenish the Trust Fund so that it will have sufficient real assets to pay retirees.

You can read more from Allen Smith's articles:

Dr. Smith's website is This is where you can find a copy of his books "The Looting of Social Security" and "The Big Lie - How Our Government Hoodwinked the Public, Emptied the Social Security Trust Fund, and caused the Great Economic Collapse."

I am dismayed and angry that President Reagan's and Alan Greenspan's politics would undermine the most important retirement insurance programs of the New Deal, one that benefits all of us, and designed to prevent the widespread poverty for elders that came with the Great Depression. Today, with more than 30 million people unemployed or underemployed (most of whom have paid many thousands of dollars into Social Security) and 50 million people living below the poverty line, Social Security is, for many Americans, a critical safety net. Without it the health and safety of many of them will be in jeopardy.

Please write to your Representatives and Senators to restore real assets to the Social Security Trust Fund and stop the diversion of Social Security tax payments, and forward a link to this webpage to your friends and relatives.


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Standard Disclaimer: Any economic or financial information above, in Community Alert and Bulletin, Economic and Health Alerts, and the Economic and Health Survival Guide do not constitute financial advice, but are condensations and distillations of the work of others and a few words of what I believe to be common sense. The assistance and advice I may provide for you in setting up in setting up an IRA does not guarantee returns, which are dependent on market conditions, and you are taking full responsibility for financial decisions you make based on my advice. Please seek out an independent licensed accountant or financial advisor to review any information and references I have provided as well as their own expert knowledge, in order to tailor a financial plan to your circumstances. I cannot be held responsible for the consequences of decisions made based on the information and advice that I provide.

I am a health, environment, and economics researcher and consultant. I am not a physician, and the health information, suggestions, and recommendations that I provide are not prescriptions. When you pursue alternative remedies, you are taking full responsibility for your own health decisions, and it is recommended that you consult with a qualified physician to monitor your progress. This is especially the case if you currently take pharmaceutical drugs, as your dosage requirements will likely change as your body heals.

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