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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Social security not so secure anymore

For the second straight year there will be no cost of living increase for seniors on Social Security. These increases are tied directly to interest rates which have not gone up enough in the last two years to force an increase in payments.
There are a number of factors at play as to why the rates haven’t gone up, but they all boil down to “the economy sucks.”
President Barack Obama’s solution to this little problem about two weeks from an election?
Why, we need to send everyone on social security a check for $250.
While I’m sure this would be welcome, I must admit to being just a hair dubious about the motivations.
Leaving aside the $250 might pay for the average senior’s medications for, say, a week — maybe. When you’re just a few weeks out of a midterm election, in which nearly the entire country has said they hate your party, and well, they’re not horribly fond of YOU either, one questions if you’re attempting to buy votes.
There are those who will liken this to the tax rebates by the Bush administration. I suppose the comparison is inevitable. However, those were not proposed right before an election. They were proposed and passed as a stimulus to a flagging economy.
It could be argued, I suppose, that those rebates artificially propped up the economy, however it was certainly more effective than the $787 billion “stimulus” bill Obama passed. We’re nearly two years into his administration and despite all that spending (and would someone please explain to me how giving money to schools was supposed to cause job growth) unemployment continues to hover around 10 percent.
Had Obama wished to help seniors there are certainly more effective ways to go about it.
A good place to start would be realizing that social security is broke.
It would also help to take a look around and realize that the same percentage of income invested in the stock market has historically yielded far better long-term returns than giving it to the government.
Additionally, Social Security, as currently extant is a giant ponzi scheme. You pay money in now, the government takes said money, pays benefits to people who are currently retired, and you get to hope there are enough people paying in when you retire that you’ll get your benefits.
Bernie Madoff anyone?
The problem we have at the federal level, and its’ been true on both sides of the aisle, is that the inmates are running the asylum. Economists have been warning for decades Social Security, in it’s current form, is unsustainable — as is the current level of spending.
When you borrow from Peter to pay Paul, sooner or later Peter’s broke.
The November elections are a mere two weeks away. It’s time to bring some sanity back to Washington. Let us all vote for solid fiscal conservatives. Let us hold their feet to the fire and require them to rein in federal spending.
The future of this nation as the last remaining superpower and a beacon of hope to the rest of the world rests on us getting our financial house in order. Will it be easy? No. We’re all going to have to have our personal sacred cows gored before this is over. It’s merely necessary.
All IMHO, of course.

1 comment:

  1. Not to mention that Social Security was one of the early diversions away from a Constitutionally-limited government that got the ball rolling toward the behemoth of a government we have now.