You’ve worked your whole life being forced to pay into the Social Security/Medicare program to help financially support you in your golden years. For some years now, you have heard hints of the Social Security program going bust. But now, there is blatant talk about the government cutting Social Security benefits to supposedly lower the federal deficit.
Unless our politicians have misappropriated funds (picture a big smirk here), Social Security has not contributed one penny to our nation’s deficit; but yet the president’s new deficit commission is considering a cut in Social Security/Medicare benefits. The folks in Washington are apparently considering older Americans as useful whipping posts in the crack down on their own wasteful spending. There are politicians from both parties who supported Bush’s tax cuts, as well two under-funded wars, who are pushing for this deficit commission to cut Social Security benefits before the end of the year.
While reining in our deficit is a mighty fine idea shouldn’t we do it without punishing our senior citizens as well as future silver-haired generations? Social Security and Medicare belongs to the American people who have paid into it every working day of their lives, NOT to our government. Social Security benefits are there to protect the financial survival of our older people.
The problems that have caused our deficit can be found in excessive salaries and perks to our politicians, defense spending, stimulus packages, food stamps and in other social programs. Blowing up other countries, while bailing out huge corporations and allowing able-bodied Americans to live off of the government in lieu of employment is not the way to a better America.
It is a known fact that most of us cannot survive off of Social Security benefits alone; however, you should be able to count on getting it back to you when you retire. You paid into it, therefore, you are entitled to receive it back. Never were you told that you would be saving this country’s economy. And you do have the right to do some extra things you might want to do after retiring: such as breathing and eating with a roof over your head.
An alternative to social security is solely depending on your children to support you. But therein lies a problem if your children cannot afford or perhaps might not want to help you. So, in kicks the idea of having some kind of retirement savings plan, but it is not enough when the stock market crashes and our housing industry flushes down the toilet.
While it is a good idea to have some kind of private retirement savings plan, you need your Social Security/Medicare, too. It will not make you rich, but you will have some income and partial health coverage to help you through as you grow older and become unable to work.
Social Security does not replace your income, but it will help ease the financial burden in your retirement years.
“Whacking the Old Folks,” The Nation, June 7, 2010