Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Trust Fund Monthly Reports: Jan-Feb
Okay we have a DI Trust Fund whose assets went from $217.2 billion at the end of January to $216.2 billion at the end of February, a deficit of a $1 bn. Similarly we have an OAS Trust Fund whose assets went from $2.228 trillion to $2.237 trillion, a surplus of $9 bn. If we add the January numbers we have a starting combined balance of $2.445 trillion and if we add the February ones we get $2.453 trillion for a total surplus of $8 billion for the month.
Now compare that to the numbers in the following post at Notes on Social Security Reform Slowdown Slashes Social Security Surplus where he shows DI going from $216.2 billion at the end of Feb to $214.4 billion, a deficit of $1.8 billion and OAS going from $2.219.0 trillion to $2.219.5 trillion, for a surplus of $500 million. Which totals out to $2.434 trillion down a net $1.25 billion for the month.
Now his numbers are not made up, they come from a different section of the documents that supplied the Tables. So how can the same data set show a combined surplus of $8 billion in one place and a combined deficit of $1.25 billion somewhere else? Well on inspection it seems the answer is in the line item "Interest Receivable'. In the case of DI it went up from $907 million to $1.7 billion, in the case of OAS it went up from $9.2 billion to $17.4 billion in each case totally explaining the differences.
So maybe some of the hype surrounding 'Vanishing surpluses' needs to be put on hold.