Spectacles: Social Security Is Being Squandered
By DR. ADA FISHER
Far from the front page, the most important story for most working Americans is not being adequately reported—the depletion of Social Security stores. In 1935 when Franklin D. Roosevelt had the Social Security Program instituted as a backup retirement savings, there were approximately 35 workers for every recipient retiree. In our generosity without due regard for who is paying the bill, funding for this was allowed for children and widow(er)s where the entitled were not taxed to insure their coverage. SSA was designed as a contributory insurance program through which such was made by workers into the “old age reserve account”. Roosevelt did not want these monies coming from the general fund.
In 1937 the US Supreme Court held that these funds were a tax not individual savings as such opening the door for Congress to raid these monies.
The old-age insurance system introduced in this Social Security Act now faces less than 3 employees to pay in for every retiree. At the public policy level, to continue, SS as a contributory social insurance program for paid in workers must have a clear idea that this account would then protect this source of monies to fund only the workers' retirement.
In 1969 Lyndon Johnson placed these monies in securities of the Treasury allowing them to be part of the general fund through which entitlements, wars and other largess of government was paid. More than several trillion dollars from SS has and continues being used to fund things for which this money was not intended. Many SS recipients are also being paid more than they put into the system.
Enter 2018 until 2034 and beyond where its administrative board estimates that Social Security will be paying out more in benefits than it generates in revenue. This hasn’t happened since the Reagan Administration in 1983. $700 billion dollars, (approximately the cost of ObamaCare) will accelerate in 2020 and beyond. Who then is paying this debt? From whence does the money come especially if budget trimming spending cuts are not made?
This is an instance where citizens are blind to obvious realities. The tax cuts for businesses were good. Citizens however are being taxed to death, i.e. income tax, payroll tax, social security tax when you get your retirement money and any other likely tax from the prevailing socialist agenda of those who don’t seem to understand what a democracy should be about. Is this not more than double taxation on the same salary? Whatever happened to no taxation without representation? [Read up on taxes in Holland, Great Britain's health care and the social burdens of Switzerland]
Social Security must be reformed if it is to meet its present and future obligations! In an election year and presidential cycle, this seems to be impossible. Tinkering around the edges with incremental changes to up the retirement age have been made which has arguably penalize those with a shorter life span, e.g.; Black males. One of the things which could be possibly eliminated is removing from the rolls as of 2020 those new retiree's dependents that have not paid into the system -- widows, widowers, children and non-citizens. Survivors’ benefits to designated family members should then be issued for any unused money by that worker. If people who are married or have children want to have them covered, should they not pay in a bit more?
A look at the Disability System of the SS program and those for the military, company plans, or state plans should make disability criteria the same for each system. Why should people get a check for retirement disability, work disability and military disability for the same injuries?
Given that the average SS check is less than $1400/month, should a floor be established for those earning less than $1200/month as is done with so designated military pensions, sometimes given to those with non-Service Connected Disability? Remember that 60% of women over 65 and a lot of others depend on this monthly check as their sole income.
The government teat is running dry. An aging population with a lot of slack in the upcoming ranks of young people is not demonstrating that they can cover the cost of the retiring “baby boomers.” I liked the “lock box” concept for Social Security of Al Gore to insure that those who put into the system can get back some semblance of costs for their investment for this retirement fund. Their check, a bigger rate of return when they collect on their money put in to the system. Their imbalance is when others are given their money without any benefit to those who paid into the system. The Totalization Agreement funds taken from levies on those illegally in the nation could be reinvested here or used to shore up borders.
The burgeoning progressive (Democrat) socialist agenda of free health care, subsidized housing, higher education, etc. does not seem to understand we are too easily spending other people's money. ONE IS HARD PUT TO FIND ANY OF THIS IN THE US CONSTITUTION. This is simply not just a moral issue but a financial dilemma.
The government teat is running dry. An aging population with a lot of slack in the upcoming ranks of young people is not demonstrating that they can cover the cost of the retiring “baby boomers.”
Watch out Medicare you are next!
Ada M. Fisher, MD, MPH is a licensed teacher, retired corporate physician, former county school board member, speaker, author of Common Sense Conservative Prescriptions Good for What Ails Us Book 1 (available through Amazon. Com) and is the NC Republican National Committeewoman.