Trust Fund: real? Um, yes.
Oh, okay. Since it appears some of our commenters (well, just one really) are under the illusion that the Social Security Trust Fund doesn't exist, let me link once again to Dean Baker's excellent introductory essay on the subject. (PDF here, or HTML here.) We've written here on the subject many times, but the background essay will have to do for now. Yes, the Trust Fund exists. Yes, it can be paid back. (One thing that rarely gets mentioned is that Medicare has been redeeming its own Trust Fund bonds for the past year, with no problem at all.) Yes, "defaulting" on the thing will involve very high transfers of wealth from low- to high-earners.