Friday, November 25, 2016

Yes, We Are Entitled...

Yes,  We Are Entitled...

Let's talk about the term [government] entitlement. The term as defined by Webster says:1 a : the state or condition of being entitled : a right to benefits specified especially by law or contract.  2 : a government program providing benefits to members of a specified group; also : funds supporting or distributed by such a program....

The Social Security Act was signed into law in 1935 following the great depression as a "social insurance" to ensure working citizens would have a guaranteed income post retirement. I guess we could say this is the "contract" working folks contribute to social security funding the program for current and future beneficiaries or as stated in the definition a "specified group". As each generation has contributed we believed that we are supporting the current generation of recipients and the next generation would fund us.

Medicare is a program funded by the people for the people and is currently funded until 2028. According to the Social Security Administration in 2015, $795 billion (85 percent) of total Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance income came from payroll taxes. The remainder was provided by interest earnings ($93 billion or 10 percent) and revenue from taxation of OASDI benefits ($32 billion or 3 percent), and $325 million in reimbursements from the General Fund of the Treasury - most resulting from the 2012 payroll tax legislation. It is not the right of Congress to put this program at risk. If in fact the question is to turn SS/Medicare over to private investors it should be a ballot question determined by the popular vote.

Do Republicans cause economic depression and if so should a Repbulican "business man president" who has claimed bankruptcy multiple times to bail himself out of financial trouble have the right to make decisions that effect all of us well beyond any term he may serve. You can certainly believe if  Paul Ryan and his cronies are looking to move this program to the control of Wall Street it is because one they have no dependency on these services because they are guaranteed a pension and health insurance or, somehow their pockets are getting padded.  Remember people, we are again in a full Republican cycle meaning Republican administration, Republican controlled House and Senate.  Each time this has occurred our economy and society has been decimated. Not unlike the long period of Republican dominance leading up to the 1929 Depression, the Republicans controlled or at least dominated Congress and the Senate from 1995-2007 leading to debt in the trillions, the loss of homes, and sky rocketing unemployment.

Some dates and events to remember, each was preceded by a decade of Republican control.

  • 1907-1908 Banking Panic  
  • 1922-1923 Recession 
  • 1929-1933 Great Depression
  • 2007-2008 Economic and Housing Crash  

So to restate, we are back in a cycle of full Republican control - the Presidency, the House and the Senate and, with their track record do we really want our Social Security/Medicare "entitlement" shifted to the private sector just in time for the Republicans to send us into yet another tailspin and risk losing what is for some senior citizens their only source of income post retirement.

Social Security was implemented to prevent our working class from becoming destitute.  Protect the future of our workers and do not allow this administration to put our "entitlement" at risk.

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