Politicians are talking about a new spending bill. Once again they are lumping welfare with Social Security as something government completely pays for and which they now say is going broke. Nothing new here, but why? In the mid 1960s, Social Security was flush with money. Baby boomers were in their teens or 20s and wouldn’t retire for 40 to 50 years. Then President Johnson had an idea to loot Social Security to pay for his War on Poverty. His poverty program made millions of people permanently dependent on government and in turn Democrat voters. The only thing the War on poverty did was create more poverty. I know the poverty rate went down about one point since the 60s, but we also have twice the population, which means the number of people in poverty is almost double what it was then.
Ronald Reagan warned against spending that money. He said baby boomers would need it someday. Of course, Democrats, who controlled Congress back then, laughed at him. After all, they wouldn’t be around to see it.
Who pays for Social Security? Most young people seem to think the government does. All you have to do is look at the FICA Tax box on your pay stub. That pays for Social Security and Medicare. I have been paying that for 46 years now. When I turned 62 and called Social Security to see what I would get, they told me and then gave me the total of what I had paid in. I said, “So that amount should be doubled, right?” They asked me what I meant and I reminded them that all my employers had to match what I put in and when I was self-employed, I had to pay both parts. They said, “Oh yeah, that’s right,” like they didn’t know or didn’t want me to know that.
The Social Security system is in trouble but we trusted our government to take care of it. If they had invested that money instead of spending it, they wouldn’t be in trouble. If they don’t do something different, the younger people paying into it now won’t have anything. We need to remind our government that they are supposed to take care of all the people, not just the worst off, but the ones who invested in Social Security and expected it to be there.
Sid Guill, Mattoon