The Truth about Social Security and How We Can Fix This Mess

3 08 2009

I wrote all my Senators and Representatives this past week regarding the health care package Mr. Obama is dictating for all of us. Only one Representative wrote me back. He tells of the skyrocketing cost of health care and how it is bankrupting American families and businesses. Says it is leading this country down a path to fiscal disaster and that 40 percent of all federal tax dollars go to fund Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Children’s Health Care, Veterans and Military Retirees Health Care. I sure didn’t know any of that. Wow! 40% of my tax dollars. If I had known that, I would have had suggestions long before now.

Social Security was originally put into place during President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s time. In case you are not familiar with Mr. Roosevelt, he is the one who came on the scene after blaming Mr. Herbert Hoover for all the problems regarding the Great Depression. Mr. Roosevelt was President for all of my growing up years.

The Social Security plan worked for a long, long time. But it was always destined to run out of money, even when it began. Of course, they did not know that at the time it was set up. Social Security was originally based upon the fact that everyone would contribute during their working years and then when they were 65 years of age, they could begin to collect on what they had contributed. Worked out fine at that time because most people were dead before they could reach the age of 65 years of age. This is a very simple but true fact. It was therefore a case of more money coming in than going out.

However, over the years, with better medical care, longevity has increased to much more than 65 years. Also, and this is very, very important, Social Security was never intended to provide a total income for people. It was only intended to be a supplement. Or provide a part of their living expenses. Never intended to provide enough to live on. The recipients of today do not know this. They expect and receive enough money to live a simple but satisfactory lifestyle.

Also, those seniors who would rather work now have to stop working because they make too much money and therefore cannot draw their full Social Security. Many would be happy to be allowed to continue working, either part time or full time. This should not be mandatory, but if they prefer to work, by all means let them. Do not penalize them because they prefer to be productive.

But there are a few very simple answers to this problem. And they do not require another government program to implement them. If the younger people are expected to live longer lives, then they should contribute more from the beginning. Perhaps starting when they first begin working, they could simply contribute more percentage of their salary. This would cause a great increase in the amount of Social Security funds available. Perhaps, over the years, their percentage could be changed. For instance, a certain amount for ages 20 to 30, then lower from 30 to 40, then ever lower from 40 to 50 and then perhaps those 50 and under could begin to draw their Social Security at 70 instead of 65, since people are much healthier now at 65 than they were in Mr. Roosevelt’s time. All of these answers would greatly increase the pot of the Social Security. And definitely would not overburden anyone.

Next, there might be some consideration of raising the age of collection from 65 to 70. As longevity has increased, the health of those at 65 is much better than it used to be. This should be optional, but I would imagine a number of those eligible at 65 would be agreeable to making the mandatory age 70 instead. Especially if there were some incentive thrown in. Perhaps allow them to still earn their normal full salary, while letting them collect a small amount of their Social Security early between the ages of 65 and 70. Remember, since they would still be working, they would still be contributors to Social Security.

If the disability age was raised from 62 to say, 65 or even 68, this would be a tremendous savings for Social Security. There again, the recipients could be compensated in some smaller way if necessary.

These are just random thoughts, but they can be studied and implemented with very little problem. Most Americans would understand the problem if it were ever  explained to them. Then they would be willing to make whatever adjustments need to be made to save our Social Security program.

As I said, this should not require a huge influx of tax dollars nor another bureaucratic government program. Just a few adjustments and all would be o.k.

Vote Republican and see your country return to you, the citizens of the United States of America!!!!

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