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Social Security on Death Row - A Disgrace to American Ideology

  • Published: 2011-07-31 : Schwartzapfel Partners P.C..
  • Synopsis: After a lifetime of paying FICA taxes retirees are now facing devastating cuts to their Social Security benefits.

Main Document

Some people in Washington are unfairly using the federal deficit as leverage to eradicate Social Security. Learn how this movement has nothing to do with debt and everything to do with politics.

As Americans watch their elected leaders battle over how to address the country's federal deficit, perhaps no group has more at stake than senior citizens.

More than 38 million retired people and members of their family receive Social Security benefits. After a lifetime of paying FICA taxes, these retirees are now facing devastating cuts to their benefits. Seniors are at risk of becoming the latest victims in a partisan battle that has little to do with money but is really about making a political power play as the nation emerges from the recession.

The political agenda aimed at abolishing Social Security - a program that encompasses the nation's spirit and belief in the American dream - is doing a magnificent job at brainwashing the public into thinking that the Social Security program is unsustainable. These political "leaders" insist that the Social Security system is an outdated model for modern-day America. This claim is more than just political spin, it is a blatant lie.

The Truth about Social Security's Sustainability

In 2003, the federal government netted $138 billion in Social Security taxes. This amount is not how much Uncle Sam collected in FICA taxes; the $138 billion is how much money was left over after Social Security benefits were fully paid out to recipients. Yes, the Social Security Trust accumulated nearly $140 billion in one year alone; yet, rather than preserve that money for a time when Social Security needed help, the government used this surplus as a coffer for funding expenditures wholly unrelated to Social Security. To thwart accusations of misappropriation, the government issued worthless "IOUs" to the Social Security Trust.

To be clear, the U.S. Social Security program has not only been sustainable for over 75 years, it has frequently collected more than it pays out. It is laughable to suggest that it is now a program in demise. Any funding problems with Social Security can be directly attributed to Washington's shameful practice of raiding the Social Security Trust.

So why is Social Security in the Cross-Hairs

As we move past "The Great Recession", the U.S. faces a $14.3 trillion deficit. Understandably, this imposing figure sparks concern across America. However, in an admittedly genius act of political gamesmanship, many conservative members of Congress have used the deficit as leverage to convince the public that Social Security is a culprit responsible for our nation's present financial standing.

These politicians are trying to prevent the country from taxing wealthy, multi-national corporations such as Exxon-Mobil and British Petroleum (BP). The attack on the viability of Social Security is a clever, but thinly veiled attempt to prioritize global companies' embarrassment of riches over the health and livelihood of retirees; Favoring already wildly wealthy enterprises over a generation of Americans that helped build this nation into the wonderful place it is today.

Why would lawmakers favor tax breaks for the highly profitable global behemoths over the quality of life for senior Americans who broke their backs working for an entire lifetime? Simple - who do you think funds these same politicians' expensive political campaigns

Do Not Forget Seniors' Contributions to America

If you are not a senior yourself, think about your parents or grandparents. They paid - or have been paying - into Social Security for years, in understanding that we would do the same for them.

Retirees rely on the receipt of Social Security benefits, but not to fund a country-club membership or a lavish trip to the Bahamas. No, seniors rely on Social Security just to get by: to pay rent, to buy groceries, to buy medication or perhaps to fund an annual visit to their children and grandchildren.

Do not forget those who helped give us the liberties and privileges we enjoy today. Before you weigh in, remember that it is likely that you will find yourself in a similar situation someday: facing the prospect of a younger generation quickly forgetting your admirable contributions to something greater than yourself: America.

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1 : US-Born Workers Receive Disability Benefits More Often Than Workers From Abroad : University of Chicago Medical Center.
2 : 2018 COLA - 3rd Year With No Net Growth in Social Security Benefits : The Senior Citizens League.
3 : Social Security Announces 2% COLA Benefit Increase for 2018 : The United States Social Security Administration.
4 : Social Security Task Force Statement on H.R. 2792 : CCD Social Security Task Force.
5 : Social Security COLA Forecast For 2018 is 1.8 Percent : The Senior Citizens League.
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