Understanding the relationship between Social Security and the rest of the budget can help to clarify the program’s current and future financial situation. The trust fund’s Treasury bonds are tangible assets for the program, but their redemption will require other budgetary tradeoffs. Lockbox proposals such as the ones proposed in Congress could help promote overall fiscal discipline, but would have no direct effect on Social Security. As the debate over Social Security reform continues, it is important to consider the effects of various proposals on both the program itself and the rest of the federal budget.
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