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St. James Plaindealer - St. James, MN
  • They’re coming to take it away! Ha, Ha!

  • ‘They’ would be the Washington politicians. What they will be taking away is the current social contract on entitlements.

    Entitlements, it’s a word that most of the Washington crowd seem to say with a sneer, “We have to do something about entitlements.” You know, entitlements like Social Security and Medicare.
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  •     ‘They’ would be the Washington politicians. What they will be taking away is the current social contract on entitlements.
        Entitlements, it’s a word that most of the Washington crowd seem to say with a sneer, “We have to  do something about entitlements.” You know, entitlements like Social Security and Medicare.
        ‘Hey you folks nearing retirement age, how dare you think the programs you have paid taxes into for the last half century would be there? Or, at least be in the same form.’
        It’s been interesting to watch how all of the Republicans, many of the Democrats and all of the media have framed the issue as one of entitlements.  
        Sorry, but if I’ve paid into it for 50 frigging years I’m going to call it an ‘Earned Benefit’. I expect my ‘Earned Benefit’ to be paid out under the rules I’ve been paying taxes on for the last several decades.
        A pox on the sleazy politicians  who tried to force cuts in ‘Earned Benefits’ as part of a deal on the fiscal cliff. They will be the same sleazy politicians who will try and slash these ‘Earned Benefits’ as part of the extension of the national debt.
        On at least two occasions I’ve heard Speaker of the House John Boehner say, “Social Security is broke.”
        Sorry, Boehner, you don’t know what you are talking about, or at least you can’t read a financial statement.
        At the end of 2011, the balance on the Social Security Trust Fund was $2.677 TRILLION to the positive. It increased nearly $69 billion dollars from the previous year, and it is expected to grow for many years in the future. It will then begin to decline and will reach a zero balance perhaps two decades or longer in the future. Even then it won’t be broke, taxes will be coming in.
     
        Do Social Security and Medicare have to be fixed? Yes. Would it be better if they fix those two programs now? Yes. Don’t have to, but it would be better.
        What I am saying, is there was a social contract made more than a half century ago and the citizens who paid into the system should receive what they were promised. It’s that simple.  
        If the politicians say we really can’t afford it, then I want the money I paid in back - adjusted for inflation and with a reasonable rate of return.
    Page 2 of 2 -     So that 1970 dollar might be an inflation adjusted nine dollars today and with a reasonable rate of return like five percent a year over 40+ years means that dollar would be now worth something like $70.
        So you politicians in the we can’t afford these ‘Earned Benefits’ crowd, are you ready to pony up that kind of money for every dollar put into the Social Security system by all of the baby boomers?
    I think not.
        The solution is not to further shred the social contract made between Washington and its citizens. Washington politicians must honor the social contract  all tax paying Americans have lived by for decades.

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