Social Security promise not kept at cost of $1.8 trillion
The New York Times: Feb. 29, 2004

  A historical element was forgotten in the rush of news surrounding Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's opinion voiced last week that Social Security benefits are going to have to be cut.
  It dates back 21 years to events that catapulted Greenspan into national prominence and led to his becoming Fed chairman.
  Since 1983, American workers have been paying more into Social Security than it has paid out in benefits, about $1.8 trillion more, so far. This year Americans will pay about 50 percent more in Social Security taxes than the government will pay out in benefits.
  Those higher taxes were imposed at the urging of Greenspan, who was chairman of a bipartisan commission that in 1983 said that one way to make sure Social Security remains solvent once the baby boomers reached retirement age was to tax the them in advance.
  On Greenspan's recommendation, Social Security was converted from a pay-as-you-go system to one in which taxes are collected in advance. After Congress adopted the plan,
  Greenspan rose to become chairman of the Fed.
  So what has happened to that $1.8 trillion? The advance payments have all been spent.
  Congress did not lock away the Social Security surplus, as many Americans believe. Instead, it borrowed the surplus, replacing the cash with Treasury notes, and spent the loan proceeds paying the ordinary expenses of running the federal government.
  Only twice, in 1999 and 2000, has Congress balanced the federal budget without borrowing from the surplus.