Okay seniors, time to pay attention! There is a movement in Washington D.C. to screw with Social Security. They say we old folks are just costing too much, that our "entitlement" is adding to the federal budget deficit. Their way of solving this imaginary problem is by reducng future benefit payments for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and raising the retirement age even higher and cutting future benefits for anyone 55 years old or younger in 2001. Representative Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin has drawn up what he calls "Roadmap for America's Future" It should be called "Taking America's Senior Citizens to the Dump", sorry, the politically correct word is landfill! The AARP Bulletin for July-August has an excellent article on this attempt to blame older, retired from working, folks for all of America's federal budget deficits. Of course, no mention is made by Rep. Ryan of the multiple billions of dollars spent on useless military weaponry and ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, that would be unpatriotic! He hasn't offered to take a pay cut either, to help bring the deficit down! Rather, blame it on the old, infirm and no longer revenue producing population, the old folks did it!
Now, let me present a few salient FACTS about Social Security. Social Security is financed by a 12.4 % payroll tax, split between employer and employee not by money from the federal budget. It pays benefits to around 53 million Americans. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the reserve fund and payroll taxes will cover full payment of SS benefits until 2043. Pay close attention to this one! For the past 25 years? it has been TAKING IN more than it has been PAYING OUT, and now has a $2.5 TRILLION reserve fund invested in government bonds. Yes, that's right, 2,500,000,000,000 dollars. Imagine that! The government, however, has been borrowing from that reserve fund since Ronald Reagan was president (as if it was a petty cash fund) and wants to renege on it's IOU's. At our expense! They've been spending our retirement insurance money like a drunken sailor, and we are supposed to forget that this is money we all contributed to this fund during our years of working at our jobs. We are not going to let them get away with it! To quote A. Barry Rand CEO of AARP, "If Wasnington wants to restore confidence in our nation's budget, lawmakers should deal with what's really caused our federal deficit. The fact is, Americans pay for Social Security, and it hasn't added one dime to the deficit. It's a sacred promise we make to seniors, our children and our grandchildren--one that must not be broken. We believe that."
So do I! I think all 53 million of us who are beneficiaries of Social Security should stand up and demand that the government keep it's promise. After all, we already had that money deducted from our paychecks through our working years, we are entitled to the benefits we paid for. Call Washington, D.C., let them know we are paying attention to their attempt to swindle us. It's either that or the (formerly known as dump) landfill! It's our money!