Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Confirmed: Social Security Could Present the Next Fiscal Crisis


Treasury Secretary Geithner
For that past few days, rumors have been circulating around the Capitol Beltway that another fiscal crisis may be looming, possibly involving the Social Security program.

PPPS, through an exclusive unnamed source, has obtained a copy of a confidential email from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to House Budget Committee Chair, Rep. Paul Ryan which appears to confirm the worst of the rumors. Here is a copy of the email:

Sent:        Wed 1/9/2013 8:42 AM
Subject:   CONFIDENTIAL: Social Security Lock Box

Rep. Ryan,

Mr. Chairman, it is with some regret that, in compliance with your request that the Department of the Treasury perform an audit of the contents of the Social Security Lock Box, I must inform your Committee that several Platinum coins placed in the box by an earlier administration have apparently been misplaced.
While I understand that this revelation could create concern regarding the present and future viability of the Social Security Program, rest assured that we will perform a full internal investigation into the matter. 
In the meantime, I am urging the President to exercise his Executive Prerogative and direct the U.S. Mint to immediately coin Platinum replacements, in addition to the $1 trillion Platinum Coin already on order to fund the government for the next two months.

Also, regarding your request that I testify before the Committee next week, it is with extreme disappointment that I must inform you that I am experiencing mild flu symptoms (with possible oath-itis complications). It would simply be unconscionable for me to appear before the Committee at this time and put yourself, and fellow committee members and staff at risk.

I will make every effort to reschedule at a later date, perhaps some time after the end of flu season.

Yours truly,
Timothy Geithner, Secretary

PPPS was unable to obtain any official comment from the Treasury Department, the White House or the Committee Chairman.

However, one Democratic member of the Budget Committee did offer this off-the-record comment:
 "I'm absolutely astounded. Why, if true, this means, basically, the Lock Box is just filled with a bunch of IOU's. I just hope Chairman Ryan doesn't block efforts to determine which Bush Administration official is responsible."

Potentially Related News Item - Craigslist, 12-Dec-2012

As part of the background research on our Lock Box story, one PPPS researcher came across this curious item posted on Craigslist in mid-December. We'll leave our readers to decide the relevance.
Major Cable-News Network available. Potential 40-million subscribers. CURRENT-ly accepting offers starting at $500 million. Must be ideologically compatible & green. Conservative offers not accepted.
Also, Rare Uncirculated Platinum Coins - Mint Condition. Willing to part with for just UNDER $1 Trillion each.
Serious Buyers Only may contact:

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