Entitlements

The U.S. government made us save for our retirement. I am glad, because our personal savings always wound up being tapped for braces or girl scout uniforms or college tuitions. We paid into Social Security and to Medicare all our working lives. Now in our 70s, we continue working and contributing, though we now draw as well.

Congress occasionally has borrowed our savings while the money sat in government coffers. They failed to realize that the money was NOT put there for congressional use. As we understand it, those loans have not been fully repaid. Congressmen and women flow in and out of Washington, D.C. Some who express little working knowledge of the history of this country or its economic arrangements, do not seem to realize that Social Security and Medicare funds are not there for their use. Those funds are earmarked and belong to the people who put them there.
NOW Congress suggests they should cut our “dole,” would rather not pay our savings out to us as agreed. Some, I’m speaking mostly of Republicans, act as if our savings is their money and we are beggars whose claims they can disregard.
They are mistaken. I am pointing out their error to everyone over whom I have any influence.
Advertisements

About sharonervin

I write novels for and about women. I work half-days in my husband and son's law office. A former newspaper reporter, I have a B.A. in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. I have four grown children.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Entitlements

  1. Judy Brown says:

    Sharon,
    I know we don’t need to argue about this, but I just couldn’t let it pass. Social Security funds have never been in a savings account anywhere. Since it’s beginnings they have been used for general operations of the government. I am not saying that is right, but just that it has never ever been as you describe it……our money waiting for our retirement. It is a misconception that just won’t go away. Republican’s don’t want to take your hard earned money, they want to pay everyone eligible for Social Security, now and in the future. The changes they are talking about are to the system way in the future, no one now is going to miss one dime who is receiving Social Security now. In 1935 most people did not live beyond 65 or 70. Now people like my Daddy live to be 99. He got back many many times what he put into the government system. Although I am thankful for what he had we can’t continue that forever. There isn’t enough money in the world to have more going out than is coming in. My children all believe that when they need it, Social Security won’t be there for them, so they are planning for their own retirement. That should not be necessary, if people will be realistic about the problem.

    I feel like I am in the Edwards living room arguing with Maxine! Love you guys a lot! Judy

    • sharonervin says:

      Dear Judy,

      I looked up the Social Security set-up from its inception in 1935. The Social Security Trust Fund was conceived to pay benefits out of a large reserve TRUST FUND from contributions by workers. A separate fund was established in 1940 for surplus funds and the money invested specifically for payment of Social Security benefits.

      The reference areas on Google are vast and includes the following:

      “The 1983 Amendments also included a provision to exclude the SOCIAL SECURITY TRUST FUND* from the unified budget (In political jargon, it was proposed to be taken “off-budget.”[citation needed] Yet today Social Security is treated like all the other trust funds of the Unified Budget.[citation needed] It is a political way of using a cash budget instead of the more appropriate accrual budget (for all the budgets in the U.S. government), and a way of disguising total debt.[59] This provision also provided for the exemption of Social Security and portions of the Medicare trust funds from any general budget cuts beginning in 1993.[47] This change was one way of trying to protect Social Security funds for the future.

      “As a result of these changes, particularly the tax increases, the Social Security system began to generate a large short-term surplus of funds, intended to cover the added retirement costs of the “baby boomers.” CONGRESS INVESTED THESE SURPLUSES INTO SPECIAL SERIES, NON-MARKETABLE U.S. TREASURY SECURITIES HELD BY THE SOCIAL SECURITY TRUST FUND. IN OTHER WORDS, CONGRESS BORROWED THE SURPLUSES FROM THE SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM; THE TREASURY SECURITIES HELD BY THE S.S. TRUST FUND ARE U.S. GOVERNMENT “I.O.U.S”.* Under the law, the government bonds held by Social Security are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Because the government had adopted the unified budget during the Johnson administration, this surplus offsets the total fiscal debt, making it look much smaller.[citation needed] There has been significant disagreement over whether the Social Security Trust Fund has been saved, or has been used to finance other government programs and other tax cuts.”

      *The emphasis is mine.

      I write fiction, but I couldn’t make this stuff up.

      Maxine lives!!!!

      Love,

      Sharon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s