Forbes

Make ’em Marketable

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Every time a government shutdown threatens, scare stories mushroom about the possibilit­y of postponing payments to Social Security recipients.

How can this be when Social Security trust fund reserves are almost $3 trillion?

The trouble is, those reserves are invested in nonmarketa­ble Treasury securities. So Social Security can’t just sell some bonds in the marketplac­e to fund payments until the government is fully functionin­g again. The Treasury hasn’t got the cash to redeem the bonds!

Congress should order the Treasury to convert a chunk of those reserves into fully marketable government securities so the system can meet any future crisis.

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