Most people upon hearing Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson reiterate lasts year’s news that the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds will dry up in the future either did not pay attention (after all Britney Spears was on a TV show) or panicked for a bit. For me, all I heard was, “We’ve stolen your money.” With the coming tide of Baby Boomers retiring, neither fund will be taking in enough money to cover all it pays out. Now in my simple mind, I find myself asking how that can be since the funds are just paying us back the money we have paid in to it all these years, right? That would be true if the government had not dipped their fingers into it everytime they needed a little “extra”. They used the Trust Funds like some young adult with their first credit card – look at all the free money I’m getting, I’ll just pay it back later. We need to call the government on the carpet and call this what it is – STEALING! The people never wanted these stupid programs to begin with. And we were never given a choice.
Paulson and the Treasury in their message to the public informed us that Social Security’s current annual surpluses of tax income over expenditures will begin to decline in 2011 and decrease even more when the baby boomer’s really start retiring. Paulson and the other trustees of the funds call on America to have a “national conversation” and that political action needs to take place to ensure that these programs continue to play a critical role in our lives. Word to Paulson – Let us invest our own money. I don’t need your irresponsible nannyism helping me. I think many people would be interested to know who exactly the trustees of the funds are. There are six of them. Four are from the Federal Government: Secretary of Treasury, Secretary of Labor, Secretary of Health & Human Services and the Commissioner of Social Security. The other two are public representatives appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. I imagine these two are meant to represent the people of the US. Guess what – THE POSITIONS ARE VACANT!!!! Give me a box of tea to throw into the harbor – ’cause I got to throw something!
So when is D-Day for the funds? There are four categories that the funds are broken into. Old-Age & Survivors Insurance (OASI), Disability Insurance (DI), a combination of these two (OASDI), and Hospital Insurance/Medicare (HI). They will be exhausted as follows: OASI=2042 DI=2025 OASDI=2041 HI=2019
Yes, that is right, Medicare will be done in eleven years. Already this year it will be paying out more than it takes in and President Bush’s prescription plan only added to that problem. By 2017 Social Security will have its payments exceeding income. Paulson called this a “fiscal train wreck” and went on to say, “Without change, rising costs will drive government spending to unprecendented levels, consume nearly all projected federal revenues, and threaten America’s future prosperity.” Paulson had some great solutions to put out there as well. The two choices he gave are either to raise our taxes (of course we saw this coming) from 12.4% to 15.6% or reduce benefits immediately by 20%. In other words, for those of you who have paid in and can barely make ends meet, we’re going to give you less money and for those of you who already see that we mismanage what is given to us, we are going to expect more. Being that I am self-employed this really tans my hide because I pay alot more than that 12% number since I cover both employer and employee income taxes.
How many illegals do you think are getting some of this money as well that never pay in to the system? I know of one from personal experience that was collecting disability. This is insanity and nobody is paying attention. For those young people who are more consumed with stupid things (like the cheerleader who just was “dying” for breast augmentation) you need to wake up and realize that you will be working the rest of your life unless you invest wisely. The government is certainly not something to trust future security with. I’m finding more and more that there is not much to trust the government with whether it be my money, my privacy or our Constitution.