Readers speak out on Social Security
I can’t understand why conservatives fight Social Security so much – they’ve been waging war on S.S. since President Franklin D. Roosevelt first proposed its creation.
My father came under S.S. in the 1950s. The cattle ranch owner he worked for was sorry he had to withhold a few dollars from each paycheck and felt that these dollars would never be seen again. In 1968 my father was able to retire with the help of Social Security.
A few years later I got a Social Security card and again other folks would cry that those dollars withheld from my paycheck would be “lost” and that S.S. would go broke. In 1990 my wife and I retired and Social Security has been a big help. We have three sons and I hope S.S. will be there to help them in their retirement.
There are people, including members of the president’s Republican Party, who seem to be well versed in financial matters, that state Social Security has 40 to 50 years of solvency. Instead of worrying about Social Security, President Bush should concern his efforts with recovering the billions of dollars he has spent in Iraq, along with affordable health coverage for his fellow Americans.
A lot of scare tactics are being used about Social Security. President Bush started things off by saying Social Security would be broke by 2017. However, with a trust fund of up to $3 trillion, the system would hardly be broke and should last until 2041. Even then, it’s still receiving substantial income. (Both of these dates are estimates).
Then some Democrats started saying that Republicans wanted to eliminate women from Social Security. This was because Representative Thomas (a Republican) said the longer life span of women should be taken into account in Social Security payments. He didn’t say “leave them out.”
Excess Social Security payments now coming in (the trust fund) are used to cover part of the National Debt. Over the last four years, most of the rest of the debt has been covered by foreign investors. But Congressman Thomas (on “Meet the Press,” Jan. 23) pointed out that our debt is so large, and increasing so rapidly, that it might be hard for the U.S. government to come up with the money to pay Social Security back. Now that should scare the daylights out of everyone!
According to the Social Security Administration,Social Security can meet 100 percent of its obligations for the nest 37 years. Privatization would mean billions of dollars for the corporate and Wall Street elite (Bush’s friends) and make a guaranteed benefit into a gamble.
This is the president who inherited the biggest government surplus in history and in four years created the biggest deficit in history, by, among other things, giving two huge tax cuts to the wealthiest citizens.
I do not want this man deciding what will happen to the savings I and other working people have accrued. No to privatization.
Will we ever be able to tap the so-called Social Security surplus trust fund? A simple story will help explain.
You have two sons in college. You send George $1,000 per month and are proud that he never asks for more. You send Sam $1,500 a month and are proud that he spends only $1,000. You even start to think of the things the family can buy when the boys are out of college. After all, Sam’s extra $500 per month for four years is about $20,000.
The only problem is that the money has already been spent. You see, George actually spends $1,500 per month, and so he’s been borrowing the extra $500 that Sam was supposed to be saving. On paper, George will owe Sam $20,000 at graduation and Sam will owe that $20,000 to you, but neither Sam nor George have any assets nor any way to earn money. In fact, their plan is to forever get all of their money from you. After graduation, George asks you for $20,000. He then pays this money to Sam, who turns around and repays you. A windfall? No. It’s a deceptive shell game using your own money.
Following the president’s remarks on changes necessary to preserve Social Security, Senator Harry Reid said that it’s wrong to replace the “guaranteed benefit” that Americans have earned, displaying that he has bought into what I call false consciousness, a belief in something that isn’t true. Many workers believe that the Social Security benefits suggested by current law belong to them – that they have “property rights” to future payments. However, 40 years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that this isn’t the case: Retirees have no legal right to claim ownership over unpaid benefits. The ruling deters beneficiaries from suing the federal government if an altered benefit formula delivers payments that fall short of expectations. But it frees policymakers: Removing any guarantee that benefits will conform to expectations gives them the flexibility to change the program and address either inequities in the program’s current formula or its long-term solvency, to wit: “It was doubtless out of an awareness of the need for such flexibility that Congress included in the original Social Security Act, and has since retained, a clause expressly reserving to it ‘the right to alter, amend, or repeal any provision’ of the Act. 1104, 49 Stat. 648, 42 U.S.C. 1304.
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