Sunday, January 30, 2011

Blaming "Boomers" For The Social Security Mess

Much has been written and spoken lately about the Social Security Retirement Fund and its near lack of solvency. Almost always the term “entitlement program” is used in apposition with “Social Security” thus lumping Social Security Retirement Benefits in with food stamps, aid to needy families and other social welfare programs created by LBJ’s “Great Society” push of the 1960s. Pundits use the term “entitlement” in a sarcastic manner as though those receiving Social Security retirement benefits are doing so solely through the charity and largesse of the gainfully employed tax paying public. And no group is singled out more directly as the cause of the near insolvency of the program than we “baby boomers”.

And as usual the fact is the media has shown their disdain for the truth in favor of their liberal bias. The media need to be honest in their reportage on this subject rather than implying we boomers are just greedy folks undeservedly feeding at the public trough. Let me explain

• I've been paying into Social Security since I was 14 years old--- 51 years in total, so far.

• For most of my corporate career I earned salaries well into six figures thus I paid the maximum amount into Social Security each year for over 30 years.

• At the current rate of SS payments to someone my age I will have to live to 97 years old just to break even and get back the money I paid in.

• I've been paying into Medicare since it's inception in the mid 60s and have paid the maximum amount almost every year since. Barring any catastrophic illness and allowing for only 4 doctor visits a year, one physical exam and one colonoscopy annually I will never get back in benefits what I paid into the program unless I live to be 102.

If the Social Security Trust Fund had been left untouched as it was originally mandated and we were promised by FDR, we would easily have the money to pay for all LEGITIMATE retiree benefits today and into the future but instead two things happened.

1. The rules were changed in 1956 to allow Social Security Disability Payments to be made to injured people who NEVER paid a dime into the system thus inviting unchecked fraud and waste. And while this is a separate fund from the retirement fund, your payroll deductions and mine- -when they were increased- - helped fund that program rather than our retirement benefits. There are law firms advertising on TV their ability to help a person get "Social Security Disability even if you've never been a part of the system before". An open invitation to defraud the system and yet, no one raises a finger to stop it.

2. In 1986 the US Senate led by none other than that Gen-X hero Al Gore allowed the Social Security Retirement Fund "lock box" to be opened so the government could "borrow" money from the Social Security Retirement Fund to pay for other giveaway programs such as food stamps. True to form the government has failed to repay the Social Security Retirement Fund and the ever growing IOU is part of the "national debt" we face today.

So I get really angry when Gen-Xers make snide remarks about having to fund "entitlement" programs like Social Security retirement because of the "greedy baby boomers". In fact, what they are funding is the REPAYMENT of the money stolen from us by their pals the liberals and progressives through their operatives the Democrats. Money I, like every other boomer, paid into the system under the promise by those same liberals and progressives that the money- - -our money- - - the money we boomers are entitled to would be there when we all started turning 65 this year.

I hope I live long enough and my faculties remain intact long enough so I can see what happens to the Gen-Xers who buy into the media lies and Democrat’s political promises about their own retirement because- - - I want to laugh at them.

(c) The Sage of Tampa 2011

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