Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Mary Pitt: The Social Security "Problem"

The Social Security "Problem"


by Mary Pitt

Trent Duffy, assistant to the President, and many others have been telling us that, under the ''privatized'' Social Security plan which this administration is attempting to foist off on us, our savings for retirement will then be OURS, and cannot be taken away by the government. Well, Mr. Duffy, in case you did not realize this, the money that has already been paid into the Social Security fund is OURS, too, but that didn't keep your boss from hijacking it and spending it on his ill-conceived War on Terror. If memory does not ill-serve me, there was something like 1.75 trillion dollars as a projected surplus for this program at the end of Bill Clinton's service. Information is not really clear, but we can only assume that OUR money has been absorbed into the national deficit and will be repaid "some day"as has all the money we have paid into Social Security for the last fifty years.

When this social program was passed, it was meant to be an involuntary insurance plan. As a matter of fact, the original given name was Old-Age and Survivors' Insurance. As with any other insurance, the plan was that each worker would pay his premiums and at death, disability, or retirement. the funds would be available to him or to his family to sustain them in their time of need. For over half a century American workers have been dutifully accepting the removal of a portion of their paychecks in the trust that their money was being safely held by their democratic government and would be available if needed.

But, like too many other trustees in various fields, our government has been "dipping into the till", using OUR money for various pet projects such as wars, foreign aid, or pure pork. Suddenly the President and the Congress realize that time is short and soon they will be called upon for an accounting. The "Baby Boomers" are going to want to retire! The "trustee" is going to have to come up with the bucks that they squandered over the course of many years! During the 2000 campaign, we heard a lot from both sides about the "Lock Box" which both candidates favored. The surplus that existed at that time was to be withheld from use and kept as a separate liability account in preparation for demand.

I doubt whether anybody has found a source fti discover the total amount of money that has been used from the funds paid in for Social Security over the years, but it is safe to assume that it is a sizeable percentage of the National Debt. As is the case with the other criminal absconders, the men and women who have approved this misuse of funds find that a way is needed to repay the funds or to wriggle out of a bad situation and the latter appears to be the easy way out for them. Ending the system beats all hollow any idea of budgeting to provide for repayment. It's as simple as killing your creditor just before your loan comes due!

The administration is stuck on the horns of this dilemma. As a matter of party policy, they are dedicated to terminating all the social programs that have been instituted since the days of Roosevelt and returning the nation to a system of haves and have-nots. Also they and their predecessors have dipped into the reserve fund so many times that it is impossible to continue with the current situation that requires payments to be made for current recipients must be paid by the deductions from the earned income of current workers. Simultaneously, they have written "finis" to the amounts that have been paid by current workers in the financing of the Iraq War. There is only one tenable position that they can take. They must end Social Security once and for all and "privatization" is the only way they can see to accomplish it.

The logical way to solve the problem, removing the cap on the income on which Social Security premiums is based, is simply not politically-tenable for Congress. Their very positions hinge, on a regular basis, upon the campaign contributions of the wealthy and they are afraid to increase that burden at their own peril. Those who earn over $89,500 per year become indignant at the suggestion that they should be paying more of the cost while getting no more benefits than the laborer, but the situation is one that has been approved since time began by all civilizations in the world.

In many churches, if you are a member, you are asked to tithe, to contribute to the charity by giving a percentage of your income. They do not limit this based on your wealth, but appreciate the "widow's mite" as well as the rich man's gold. Therefore, I would say, "If you believe in the freedoms which we enjoy; if you believe in the equaltity of man as outlined in our precious Constitution; if you feel that even your government is not allowed to steal your personal resources; then send a message to those in office and tell them to let Social Security alone and START USING THAT LOCK BOX!" The matter is simple and unequivocal. It WAS our money and they owe it. It is time they started planning for an honest way to pay it back!

*************

Mary Pitt is a septuagenarian Kansan who is self-employed and active in the political arena. Her concerns are her four-generation family and the continuance of the United States as a democracy with a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people". Comments and criticism may be addressed to mpitt@cox.net .


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Boris Johnson At Sea: Coronavirus Confusion In The UK

The tide has been turning against UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Oafishly, he has managed to convert that tide into a deluge of dissatisfaction assisted by the gravitational pull of singular incompetence. Much of this is due to such errors of ... More>>

Reese Erlich: Foreign Correspondent: Rightwing Populism Will Make You Sick—Really

The four countries with the most confirmed COVID-19 infections in the world are all led by rightwing populists: the US, India, Brazil, and Russia. Throw in the United Kingdom, which has the largest infection rate in Europe, and you have a common pattern. ... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Early Voting Is OK, If You Know Who To Vote For

Early voting is now open which is great for the 80% or so of the population whose vote does not change from one election to the next. They can go out and vote at their convenience without having to wait for election day. But for those who are yet even ... More>>

The Conversation: Biodiversity: Where The World Is Making Progress – And Where It’s Not

The future of biodiversity hangs in the balance. World leaders are gathering to review international targets and make new pledges for action to stem wildlife declines. Depending on whether you are a glass half-full or half-empty person, you’re likely ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Trump’s Current Chances Of Re-Election

By now it seems clear that National have no fresh ideas to offer for how New Zealand could avoid the Covid-19 economic crisis. As in the past, National has set an arbitrary 30% ratio of government debt to GDP that it aims to achieve “in a decade or so,” ... More>>

The Conversation: Rogue Poll Or Not, All The Signs Point To A Tectonic Shift In New Zealand Politics

Richard Shaw AAP(various)/NZ Greens (CC-BY-SA)/The Conversation Strong team. More jobs. Better economy. So say the National Party’s campaign hoardings. Only thing is, last Sunday’s Newshub-Reid Research poll – which had support for the Labour ... More>>

The Coronavirus Republic: Three Million Infections And Rising

The United States is famed for doing things, not to scale, but off it. Size is the be-all and end-all, and the coronavirus is now doing its bit to assure that the country remains unrivalled in the charts of infection . In time, other unfortunates may well ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Altars Of Hypocrisy: George Floyd, Protest And Black Face

Be wary what you protest about. The modern moral constabulary are out, and they are assisted by their Silicon Valley friends in the Social Media club. Should you dare take a stand on anything, especially in a dramatic way, you will be found out ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog