Raiding My Retirement Account to Pay Off Your Credit Card

Andrew Olmsted may think I’m kind but I’m beginning to wonder if Andrew gets Social Security at all:

…while PGL is kind enough to suggest that my comment is not as bizarre as he might like to believe. (Of course, the down side to being noticed is that when the better-known bloggers don’t understand your argument…) Look at it this way: consider the social security trust fund as a credit card. We’ve been collecting money to pay our social security bill for years, but instead of putting the money away for the day when we have to pay the bill, we’ve been spending it. That’s allowed us to live above our means, but eventually we’re going to have to pay back the money.

Andrew is trying to find ways to make sure the Federal government does not go bankrupt, which is consistent with the pleas from Brad DeLong, yours truly, and many others. But think about his analogy this way. I have mistakenly allowed an ex-wife (the General Fund) to have a credit card that taps into my retirement account (the Social Security Trust Fund). She decides to shop at Nordstrom rather than going to work knowing I’m trying to pre-funding my retirement account. Now shame on me for trusting my savings will be there when I retire. Yes, it’s time to cut the ex-wife off. But wait – George Bush is helping my ex-wife and Andrew does not understand why I’m so upset.