Every private pension plan has a reserve fund that's supposed to be used just for pensioners. In fact, it's illegal for a company to use money from a pension fund to pay its bills.
But here's an alert: directors of the biggest pension fund in the world have been skimming money from that fund for decades. So is someone going to jail? Don't hold your breath. The directors of this massive pension fund are politicians. And the fund, of course, is Social Security (search).
For years, retirees have been paid "not" from the reserve fund, into which we've all been placing our savings, but from current accounts. Because politicians — both Democrats and Republicans — have dipped into the kitty so often that the Social Security fund now has $12 trillion in obligations for which it has no cash.
Social Security spending now represents 23% of the federal budget. And 80% of us pay more in Social Security taxes than we do in federal income taxes. If you hear politicians making any promises about Social Security this year, just keep those facts in mind. After all, it's supposed to be your money.
And that's the Asman Observer.