Greenspan speake : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

From CNNfN, for educational purposes only:

Fed chief urges debt payment
Says plan to use general revenue for Social Security might have merit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said Monday that using budget surpluses to pay down national debt would be best for the U.S. economy and a good way to prepare for baby boomers' retirement.

In testimony to the Congressional Special Committee on Aging, Greenspan suggested that a proposal by President Clinton to transfer some federal revenue money to the Social Security program could have merit.

"Saving the surpluses -- if politically feasible -- is, in my judgment, the most important fiscal measure we can take at this time to foster continued improvements in productivity," Greenspan said in his prepared text.

Clinton has proposed transferring the interest saved by reducing the nation's debt to the Social Security system. The idea has run into strong opposition in Congress, with critics arguing it would devote general revenues for the first time to the retirement system, which was set up to finance itself.

While Greenspan did not specifically address Clinton's proposal, he said that allowing general revenues to help finance Social Security or Medicare "is clearly an idea that would not necessarily eliminate all fiscal responsibility."

"It might be feasible, for example, to legislate temporary general revenue transfers that would end long before the baby boom generation starts to retire, without opening the possibility of completely eliminating the need for program cuts in social security or changes to Medicare," Greenspan said.


Are we as a nation maxing out in terms of financial leverage, or is the national debt in line with GDP from past years? I hear them say that they've solved the budget deficit problem, but the U.S. debt (trillions)is still there. The interest that U.S pays on this debt could be used for other things, I'm sure.

Given our present government's mode of thought, I can't see this ever being paid off, or even being pared down to half the current level. Will this come back to haunt us down the road?

-- Tim (, March 27, 2000

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