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The Death of the Social Security Program
Where is the Money?
I'm sure by now most Americans know about the Associated Press report released on April 23 of 2012. According to a report issued by the 'trustees' that oversee the retirement and disability fund, by 2033 the Social Security program will cease to exist. The doors will be closing not to be reopening at a later date. But permanently shut!
Currently more than 56 million retirees, disabled workers, spouses, and dependent children benefit from it's programs. Many Americans count on this social security ,not as a supplement , but as their primary income. By 2033 that number will be considerably greater. I just wonder what magic formula or reform will get us out of this one. This writer personally will be (if I live to see it) 68 in 2033. Many are reasonably concerned about a retirement safety net that will probably be snatched out from under us before even then. Is Uncle Sam gonna don his crimson cape and come to the rescue... I would not wait, or advise waiting!
HOW IT ALL CAME ABOUT
On August 14, 1935 President Frank D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law. In the words of the then President, "We can never insure 100 percent of the population against 100 percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life. But we have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age."
Fast forward to the Present...
President Obama has said, "... we need to 'tighten our belts'." I just pray that I am able to afford a belt , or even the pants ,that said belt might be holding up. Since though we are on the subject of 'belt tightening.' Thank God we have a government that believe in keeping their belts tight. In fairness to the President he was only there for a small portion of the time that our 16 trillion dollar national debt was amassed. I'm not a math whiz , or politcal whiz either ...but that's-a-lotta zeroes. Grab your belts.
I am ever confident that our leaders/public servants will pull us out of this one ... in fact they are so great they even bailed out some banks . In March of 2008 , President George W. Bush said that Bear Stearns was too big to fail. So they and several other banks were bailed out. In fairness, it must be said that some of those institutions paid us back. Some 'stiffed' us...but hey! What's a few billion between fellow citizens? And who cares that the government has been 'borrowing' from the social security trust fund for years. What's a little money between friends. That is why I don't lend money to friends! Or my belts.
Currently it being proposed that even higher taxes will save this sinking ship... congress, seeming to find ever more interesting ways to drive a wedge between those of certain income levels. Should the few pay for the many???
But in fairness to congress and our current President, maybe it is time to stop all the in fighting, political side taking, finger pointing ( i'm guilty), and really tighten our belts!!!
WHERE WE COULD START
I'm certain that congress wouldn't mind a little trimming... maybe a slight pay-cut, even? Currently (and i'm embarrassed for them) only receiving an average of 174,000 per year salary. They actually couldn't probably get their belts any tighter. Members of congress suffering those salary indignities for the length of our great republic.Very nobly congress is required by Article 1, section 6, of the Constitution to determine it's own pay, and it must be said that not all congressman vote to raise their pay when the time comes.
Maybe we could 'tighten our belts '... starting in Washington: Did you know, for instance, that the maintenance , care, repair, alterations, and improvements to the White house alone cost :$9,260,000 (from public law no.106-58) or about $25,370 a day. The capital building and grounds, for both the House, and Senate: $101,317,000 a year.
Now before you cry foul... you should realize it cost about $14,000 a day to keep that white house lawn looking smooth. Wonder if they ever considered xeriscaping. Or bringing their lunch to work, or having some of their meetings by candlelight like the founding fathers did. Maybe a potluck or two a month. Probably would help too, if they kept their banker friends from tracking the carpeting.
We patriotic Americans can do our part too, by maybe not living so darn long and having to collect it in the first place. At least that is what the government will probably suggest!
Laurinzo Scott 2012