2 minutes reading time (339 words)

Blame it on Social Security

The United States is running a one trillion dollars a year budget deficit, and is sixteen trillion in debt. The right wing insists that it is all the fault of social programs and Social Security in particular. The reader should remember that in 2001 the USA had a $236 billion surplus with a promise to grow in the future. Rather than insure the long-term stability of the nation and the social contract between its people and government, the neo-conservatives guided us to huge tax breaks and two wars conducted on credit.   Like a lottery winner on an uncontrolled spending spree, the country burned through our entire surplus, maxed out our credit cards and then raided the piggy bank. The piggy bank, in this case, is the Social Security Trust Fund. The piggy bank is now full of I.O.U.’s, and the conservatives want to welch on the deal now that the “Baby Boomers” want their money back.

Social Security is not a welfare program. Throughout our working lives, we pay into a trust fund that manages the money, using treasury bonds, eventually paying benefits in proportion to our contributions. The money in the trust fund was loaned, not given, to the federal government. Conservatives never much liked Social Security. It’s a wildly popular government program that’s totally solvent until 2033. It will be easily fixable and by then may not need fixing at all. It is an example of government that works, Conservatives cannot allow that to happen. It should be remembered that before 2008, these people wanted to convert Social Security to a Wall Street investment mechanism. As history unfolded, this would have created great security for the Bankers and Hedge Fund Managers but left the remainder of us in trouble.

We must rise with one voice and declare that bill to the trust fund has come due. The same people that took from it to fund wars and tax breaks must now pay it back. It is our money the bill is due and we want it back.

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