Friday, January 07, 2005

Who knew, the trust fund is in West Virginia.

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. Anyone wondering where the Social Security trust fund is can find it right here in this city of about 17,000 people, five hours from the nation's capital.

Actually, the trust fund is an accounting device, a mere notation in a government ledger, explains research fellow David John of the Heritage Foundation. But with concern deepening about the future of the trust fund, lawmakers have felt compelled to give constituents tangible proof that Social Security taxes are dedicated to Social Security.

"About 10 years ago, Congress decided that [the ledger notation] wasn't important enough," John said. "So, now there is a laser printer in the Bureau of Public Debt’s office in Parkersburg, W.Va., that spits out a special-issued bond. ... Somebody picks it up off the printer and they carry it to a fireproof filing cabinet that has a combination lock, and that is the Social Security trust fund."

I always wondered where they kept all those IOU's. Kind of a small file cabinet for holding 1.6 trillion, don't you think.

And why do they bother with locks, its not like the bonds are transferable.


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