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The coming collapse of Social Security
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
The trustees of the Social Security program said on May 12, 2009, that Social Security will begin paying more in benefits than it is receiving in 2016 and Social Security will be completely depleted by 2037, hurting our elderly that would depend on the money for their retirement.

The Republican party has attempted bold moves to save Social Security from going bankrupt while the Democrats turn a blind eye to the problem, stopping the reform to save Social Security.

In 2005, President Bush warned “If we do not act now to avert that outcome, the only solutions would be dramatically higher taxes, massive new borrowing, or sudden and severe cuts in Social Security benefits or other government programs”, offering a solution to privatize part of Social Security for younger participants.
The Republican plan would allow people the option to manage 18 percent (one of six dollars) of their Social Security as an IRA (Individual Retirement Account) providing individuals the option of their investments, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, gold or any other commodity to gain a higher percentage of return than the 2 percent annual return they would receive from the government.  This would historically increase the amount of revenue into the program, which needs to hold funds separate from other government funds.

The Democrat party blocked the reform and offered no solutions of their own. Others won’t even admits that a problem exists.  During the 2004 presidential campaign, the Democrats made allegations that the Republicans were going to stop sending retirees their Social Security checks, attempting to use their scare tactics to gain votes from the elderly.

In March of 2000, Al Gore stated in reference to Social Security: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Shore it up the way we always have.”  Democrat Senator Charles Schumer of New York said Social Security should get “fine-tuning” rather than a replacement “with something completely different” as the Democrats killed all reform.

But why would the Democrats block Social Security reform?  It is about control.  Democrats have always thought of the people’s money being their money.  The people may believe they have irrevocable rights to these benefits; but it is up to the politicians. They can decide to delay your retirement age so more older Americans would actually die before they would be eligible to collect what they put into the system. Their time on Social Security would also be shortened so the government could keep the money you put into it since the Democrats believe your money belongs to the government therefore, blocking privatization accounts for individuals.

Why does it hurt the Democrats so bad that they would be against allowing people to actually manage part of their Social Security?  The reason is because Democrats do not like people to become financially independent since the Democratic political power is built on the foundation of government dependence.  The Democrats must, therefore, prevent the people who depend on Social Security from ever enjoying a sense of independence.  This enables the people to depend on a Democratic controlled government to supply their needs.

In the meantime, Social Security has amassed $4,000,000,000,000 ($4 trillion) of unfunded liability and if major changes are not made quickly, the government will be only able to pay 70 cents for each dollar of promised benefits.  But how has Social Security amassed so much debt at a time when so many are expecting it to be there for their retirement?

In 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt established Social Security as a retirement savings program for the people.

The Social Security program was introduced as a voluntary program that the Social Security Act of 1935 set the wage threshold at $3,000 to each participant.   Income earned above this amount was not subject to Social Security taxes.  The money was to be set aside in an independent “Trust Fund” to fund the Social Security Retirement Program, separate from the government general operation fund and other government programs.  

However, by law the Democrats forced all Social Security surpluses to be loaned to the federal government with the government required to pay this money back to the Social Security program with interest.  The Democratic controlled Congress should have required this money to remain separate.

As the new age liberal Democrats came into power, the blueprint of this successful program began to chip away at the foundation engendering future potential problems for millions of Americans who rely on their Social Security checks.

The $3,000 wage threshold has been increased 20 times since its introduction requiring the people to pay more Social Security taxes.  In 2000, Social Security taxes accounted for about 25 percent of all federal tax collections, which is equivalent to 6 weeks of salary in Social Security taxes each year.

In 2001 President Bush’s budget proposal states: “Social Security payroll taxes must not be increased as they have been 20 times since the program began in 1937.”  

Then, the Democrats eliminated the income tax deduction for Social Security (FICA) withholdings as then Vice President Al Gore, Democrat, casted the tie breaking vote, which raised the  taxation of Social Security annuities up to 85 percent and President Bill Clinton, Democrat, signed the bill into law.

It is clear the Democrats ideology cannot be trusted.  They believe our tax money belongs to them and also Social Security.  Now with the problem about to surface in a couple years with the retirement of the baby boomers, they would like to blame the Republican Party. However, the Republican Party has been on the record trying to save Social Security through reforms similar to IRA’s (Individual Retirement Accounts) where the return in much more significant.  However, the Democrats have lied to the American people with scare tactics claiming Republicans want to take away your Social Security.  No one has lost their Social Security; but soon the money will not be there.

Now with Medi-Cal and Medi-Care joining Social Security on the verge of bankruptcy; this does not stop the Democrats from making further promises of pandering to buy votes from the people. The Democrats have promised baby bonds, government run health care, free college and free day care.  All of this sounds great if you are not having to pay for it; but where does it stop?  Should everyone be entitled to a free government supplied car?  Who is going to pay for this?  Add these programs together and these promises add up to another trillion dollars of new spending while our national debt is already approaching 12 trillion dollars beyond the additional debt of Social Security and Medicare programs

The Democrats have forgotten the founding principles of “limited government” and “individual accountability”. They are attempting to lead us more and more toward socialism, where more and more people become dependent and controlled by the government.

The Democrat Party has changed over the years.  President John F. Kennedy once stated “ My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.” The Democrats today ask a different question and the America tomorrow will face further consequences as we still have not fixed Social Security.

Unfortunately, the Social Security problem is still there and without reform to a broken system, all Americans who rely on Social Security will suffer, regardless if they are Republican or Democrat.
 Frank Aquila
President of the South San Joaquin Republicans