"A Voice Crying in the Wilderness"
When Allen W. Smith appeared on CNN to discuss
his newly published book, The Alleged Budget Surplus, Social Security and Voodoo Economics, on September
27, 2000, he thought that what he was about to say would soon become breaking news that would spread throughout
the nation like wildfire. Smith was so outraged by what he had discovered a few months earlier that he thought
it would shock the public and generate a national scandal that would make Watergate pale by comparison. Smith
thought that, when the public found out that their Social Security contributions were being embezzled, and used to help finance
Reagan's large tax cuts for the rich, they would share his outrage and demand action. Smith thought that taking money
from the payroll tax contributions of working Americans and transferring it to America's richest citizens was more than wrong.
It was immoral.
Dr. Smith, a strong supporter of Social Security
as we now know it, saw the raiding of the Social Security fund as a first step toward destroying the current Social Security
system and replacing it with a privatized system. The payroll tax hike of 1983 was designed to generate Social Security
surpluses for 30 years prior to the retirement of the oldest baby boomers in about 2010. These surpluses were to
be saved and invested in marketable U.S. Treasury bonds, which could later be resold in the open market to raise cash with
which to pay benefits to the boomers. If the $2.7 trillion in Social Security surplus revenue, which the tax hike was
designed to accumulate by 2010, were to be taken by someone like Bernie Madoff, the baby boomers would be out of luck.
The enemies of Social Security would then point to the dire financial condition of Social Security as proof that Social
Security benefits had to be cut, and the system should be scrapped and replaced with a privatized system.
Most readers can readily see that if the $2.7 trillion in surplus Social Security revenue had been taken by Madoff, who is
now serving a 150-year prison sentence, Social Security would now be in deep trouble. Bernie Madoff did not steal
the Social Security money. but the United States government did. The money is gone and the only way to get it back
is by raising taxes, which appears to be politically impossible in the near future.
If the CNN interview, thirteen years ago, had gone differently, Smith thinks the public outrage would have been
so strong that Congress and the president would have been forced to bring the raiding of Social Security to an abrupt
end. If that had happened, all the surplus revenue that came in after 2000 would today be safely held
by the trust fund in the form of "good-as-gold" marketable U.S.Treasury Bonds, which could be sold in the open market
as needed to pay benefits to the boomers.
Smith was really excited as he entered that
CNN studio. He would soon be able to tell millions of viewers about the Social Security theft. But the interview
didn't go the way he had hoped. Instead of showing interest in what Dr. Smith had to say, the CNN Anchor,
Lou Waters from Atlanta, was amused, and he treated the interview as a big joke. He ended the interview with these words:
"We're not hearing any of this in the news. I'm involved in the news.
Are you a voice crying in the wilderness?"
As thing turned out, Smith
was a voice crying in the wilderness in September 2000, and he has continued to be such a voice to this day. In
addition to Reagan, Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush all looted and spent every dollar of
the surplus that came in during ther presidencies. Obama might have done the same, but we can't know for sure because
the surpluses were over and Social Security was running permanet annual deficits by the second year of Obama's presidency.
Dr. Smith is the author of nine books,
and he has appeared on CNN, CNBC, and more than 200 radio talk shows. He has a B.S. in Education degree
from Ball State University and a Ph.D. degree in Economics from Indiana University.
Links to articles:
investigative reporter, Mike Deeson, WTSP--CBS local affiliate in Tampa: http://www.wtsp.com/news/local/article/195201/8/Social-Security-Trust-Fund-stolen-by-the-Government
Archive of Allen's articles published by Dissident Voice.org: http://dissidentvoice.org/2013/05/government-owes-2-7-trillion-to-social-security/
Archive of Allen's articles published by FedSmith.com: http://www.fedsmith.com/author/allen-smith/
Allen's articles published in the Orlando Sentinel: http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-08-07/opinion/os-ed-social-security-con-080712-20120806_1_social-security-trust-fund-ious; http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2013-06-10/news/os-ed-social-security-061013-20130609_1_social-security-income-subject-payroll-tax
CONTACT ALLEN: Phone: 1-863-875-2735 Email:
Allen W. Smith is available for media interviews
and speaking engagements. Call 1-800-840-6812.