Myth #3: Social Security is funded until 2037
As you may know, the trust fund is, for accounting purposes, assumed to be invested in IOUs from the U.S. Treasury. When Social Security needs money beyond what it expects to collect in payroll taxes, it can redeem some of these IOUs. But it's not as if the trust fund is a giant 401(k). It's more like access to a rich but cash-strapped daddy's credit card.
What that means is that Social Security can get what it needs from Treasury without having to ask permission from Congress. But when it redeems one of these IOUs, the Treasury (just like Daddy) has to come up with the money the old-fashioned way, by raising taxes or, more likely, borrowing more.
You know, of course, why this wouldn't work -- at least, I hope you know. It's because the U.S. government ultimately has to pay its bills with cash, not with its own IOUs. In the long run, you need cash -- real money -- not funny money.
"Fully funded" suggests that the money to maintain today's benefits until 2035 is already locked up. It isn't. Redeeming IOUs from the trust fund (and the income imputed to those IOUs) will only put another burden on taxpayers who are simultaneously paying for Medicare, interest on the debt, and all the other purposes of government. At some point, the total burden will be too much.