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Social Security and the National Debt: “Fact Checkers” Weigh In

Social Security is in the spotlight these days, both with respect to its long-term solvency problem and its relativity to the debt ceiling fight now underway. One can argue that Social Security has no direct bearing on federal debt, since the cash flowing into the program is the source of benefits paid by it. In reality, as cash enters the program, the U.S. Treasury converts it to special interest-bearing bonds that are redeemed as required to pay benefits in a “pay as you go” approach. Conversely, one can argue that since the money has been put in the U.S. Treasury upon receipt, and thus used for other purposes, redemption of the bonds to make benefit payments does trigger the need to incur federal debt. A dichotomy for sure, as explained in a post by USAToday fact-checker Sudiksha Kochi. Check it out here

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