A consistent fiction indulged by politicians of many stripes is that if FICA taxes had somehow been put into a "lock box," that we then would face no problems funding Social Security. Let's take a look at that idea. Assume we place those FICA dollars in a box in West Virginia--the "Robert Byrd Social Security Lockbox"--and let's see what happens in 40 years.
Each bill would have lost most of its purchasing power due to inflation, right? Using FICA surpluses to fund current expenditures, and allowing those surpluses to earn interest, doesn't gut the program, but rather preserves it. Putting FICA surpluses in a lock box makes about as much sense as putting fresh fish in one.
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