To the editor:
We hear it time and again: “We must address the entitlements our citizens are receiving.” I for one, am befuddled. The Social Security Administration has been called a “Ponzi scheme.” Our elders are receiving benefits that they have easily lived past what they contributed to. The cost of medical care and prescriptions is eating into the pie at a rate that is not recoverable, and Social Security will go broke in 20 to 25 years or maybe sooner depending on who is doing the figuring.
What exactly are entitlements? I would like to try and explain my thoughts on them. When President Roosevelt established Social Security, it was never meant to be the sole support of a person that was retiring. Back in the early 1930s, we were still in the Depression. People began contributing to Social Security with the promise that there would be a supplemental check every month to help ease the financial end. But an amazing thing began to happen. Our streets were paved with gold. We were the hope of the world. We were able to better ourselves and in due course better the lives of our elders.
Immigration flourished. People were flooding to our shores and with them came innovation. Sounds easy, but it wasn’t. If you couldn’t not pass a physical or you were a criminal or an escaped leader of another country, you were sent back by the very next ship. We just did not keep undesirables.
We were living longer, we ate better and we had more people contributing to Social Security than at any time up to and since. The draw-down was inevitable. The solution: Raise the Social Security deductions out of every pay. Billions poured in, then hundreds of billions poured in. Social Security was so flush with cash that Congress just couldn’t ignore it. They borrowed from Social Security and left an IOU. Then they borrowed again and again and have not paid back one red cent.