years ago my house was broken into, vandalized and burglarized. It was a
horrible experience, knowing that someone had entered my family's home and
taken those things of ours which had value to us. And then, when the criminal
was caught, it was even worse because we found out he broke into homes to
steal items to support his drug habit. Our valuables were not only stolen,
but stolen to support a vile habit.
my family and I got over the incident, both emotionally and financially, we
as a nation are going though a very similar experience. In Washington the
politicians are now riffling through our belongings, stealing from us, and
then using the ill-gotten gains for less than honorable purposes. Listen; you
can hear another bag being stuffed with your money.
first some background.
number of years ago it was decided that establishing trust funds was a good
way to earmark money for specific projects. These trust accounts would be
paid into by those who use the particular service or project. For example,
when a pilot fills up his plane with fuel, the tax on the fuel goes into a
special trust fund. Under the law, money from the fund goes only for projects
dealing with airport issues - like new runways, control towers, and radar
systems. The same holds true for the canal systems, the highways, and, of
course, Social Security.
course, what the law states, and what really happens are two different
things. And that is how the thief has gotten in the door and begun robbing
politicians realized that there is a lot of money sitting in those accounts -
more than hundreds of billions of dollars, in fact. And the same politicians
realized the federal deficit was growing by even larger sums of money thanks
to unconstitutional spending at home, nation-building abroad, corporate
welfare for big political donors, and pork projects.
they started taking the money from the trust funds and replaced them with
what are essentially "IOUs" from the government. Now, this is
referred to as using the funds to "contribute" to the
"retirement of the debt." That's a lot like the thief saying he was
stealing my wife's belongings so she could "contribute" to his
course, the even bigger crime is that the deficit is not being
lowered and the debt is not being retired. It's like you or me
running up our credit card bill in order to pay off a loan. There's no debt
reduction, just a shell-game with taxpayer funds.
the Highway Trust Fund. Last year the fund brought in close to $26 billion
from gas taxes (except for President Clinton's 4.3 cent tax increase of 1993,
which goes to the general fund - a whole different discussion). The trust
fund spent almost $24 billion on highway-building and related projects. The
remainder? Well, according to the bean counters, it was "invested"
in Treasury notes, which are now held as an "asset." What does that
really mean? It means $2 billion, which could have been used to build the new
I-69 or some other highway project, went instead to "cut the federal
situation with the Social Security and Disability Insurance fund is even
worse because the number of dollars is even larger. Close to a
half-a-trillion dollars has been taken from the trust fund. Yet the
politicians talk about cutting benefits.
with all the talk of a Balanced Budget Amendment, President Clinton has been
edging toward a plan to take Social Security, and possibly other programs,
"off-budget." He says he wants Social Security completely
off-budget to protect the funds. A ridiculous claim! By allowing the
president to off-budget Social Security or anything else, we will see those
funds - and indeed our nation - quickly forced into insolvency as the money
is used for more and more "non-trust" uses. It is simply
unconscionable to allow the president, or a gang of big-spenders in Congress,
to take items "off-budget" to artificially lower the publicized
cost of government, or hide ill-advised financial fiascoes. And undoubtedly
lead to more and more problems in the trust funds fulfilling their missions.
the integrity of the trust system is of critical importance, especially if
Congress passes a weak Balanced Budget Amendment. Billions of dollars are
being diverted from their intended purposes (and a weak BBA could make it
even worse). So when we hear that a local airport cannot get all the runways
fixed this year, or when we're told a new highway project is still sitting on
the drawing board, or we have to worry about whether senior citizens' Social
Security checks will be secure, remember it is the federal government that is
robbing our trust funds to pay for big-spending habits.
must be a top priority for this new Congress to restore the integrity of the
trust system and end the practice of robbing these funds.
other articles by Ron Paul
Ron Paul of Texas enjoys a national reputation as the premier advocate for
liberty in politics today. Dr. Paul is the leading spokesman in Washington
for limited constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, and a return
to sound monetary policies based on commodity-backed currency. For more
information click on the Project Freedom website.
with the authorization of Dr. Paul.
Dr. Ron Paul