Let's Be Fair to the Elderly

In "Huge U.S. Budget Deficits Aren't Going to Disappear" (Viewpoints, June 9), John Oliver Wilson is correct in asserting the seriousness of the "Reaganomics" deficit, but he couldn't resist the usual misstatements about the contributions of the Social Security system. The fact is, that since the trust fund is running a substantial surplus now and will do so for many years to come, it actually is reducing the deficit.

If we weren't obscuring this fact with the "unified" budget, it would surely be evident that the trust fund has a surplus but the general fund deficit is larger than shown in the unified budget.

From the beginning, the Treasury has borrowed from the trust fund at well under prevailing interest rates. This too helps to reduce the deficit from where it would be if it hadn't been subsidized in this way by the Social Security taxpayers, whose tax increases would have been considerably lower if prevailing interest rates had been paid.

Add to the above the postponed cost-of-living adjustments and the fact that middle-income taxpayers are now required to pay taxes on half of their Social Security incomes. I really believe that the elderly are already feeling more than their fair share of the pain.



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