In: The Christmas Hope: A To-Do List for a Better World by John W. Whitehead which was published on December 19, 2011, the author said in part: “Stop acting entitled and start being empowered. We have moved into the Age of Entitlement, where more and more people feel entitled to certain benefits without having to work for them. There’s nothing wrong with helping those less fortunate, but as my parents taught me, there’s a lot to be said for an honest day’s work.”
Excuse me! I am nearly 70 years old. I did my “honest day’s work” every work day of my adult (and teen) life, and paid into Social Security for over 55 years. And I did my “honest day’s work” every work day for the past 45 years, and paid into Medicare every single paycheck. The monies that I and millions of other seniors have PAID, (which were TAKEN from our “honest day’s wages,”) were supposed to be put into a Trust Fund that would not be used for anything except it’s purposes: to provide a bit of security for seniors and some medical care.
I was not given any choice. I HAD to pay into these Trust Funds. The money was TAKEN from me with each paycheck I EARNED. Thus, I EARNED Social Security and I EARNED Medicare.
The RESPONSIBILITY for ensuring those Trust Funds would be available in perpetuity was that of the Congress. But our elected officials BETRAYED the citizens of the US by dipping into these Trust Funds for all kinds of programs to benefit their respective constituencies. This has been a Generational Betrayal.
Even more than that, it has been a SEVERAL GENERATION betrayal!
Had the U.S. of Government not put it’s big hands into the mess, I could have put that money into my own Trust Fund. Perhaps stocks, or bonds or a mixture, or even just a savings account. The fund I could have built would have kept me well into my 80’s. And if it didn’t, I would have only myself to blame, and would have to go live with my children – as generations before Social Security did. By providing the mirage of old age security and independence, and of medical care, 3 generations have simply paid into Social Security and relied upon it. Now, it’s pretty much gone.
As to Medicare, it’s the same story. The fund I could have built, or the private medical policy I could have had, was taken from me. The money I would have used for that was taken by the U.S. of Government and theoretically INVESTED in a Medicare Trust Fund. But Congress plundered Medicare just as it did Social Security. So, now, 2 generations have paid into Medicare and relied upon it to be there. Now, it’s pretty much gone. There is a regulation being written (but not yet approved, thank goodness) that would prevent payments for cancer treatment for people over age 75.
With average life-spans now in the 80’s rather than the 60’s (as it was in the 30’s), it is even more important to CONSERVE the monies entrusted to the Trust Funds by the people rather than PLUNDERING them.
I think we (privately, not a Congressional committee) should investigate, and those who plundered the funds (the congressmen, senators and even presidents, not to mention all the bureaucrats) and demand they provide the missing monies from their own funds – after all, they were paid out of the monies they plundered.
In the meantime, although I am nearly 70, although I am disabled by Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia, I will have to work at whatever jobs I can into my even older age, and I will have to depend upon my children to help me – when they should be helping their children through college and setting up their own nest eggs. Himself and I probably will end up having to live with one of them. Somehow, that doesn’t appeal to us. But our tiny little fund, that was all we could afford to set aside and that has been devastated by the financial downturn (fueled by the U.S. of Government programs of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae), will not last very long.
I’m ready to declare a new revolution – one which demands that our elected officials deal HONESTLY and FAIRLY with their electorate.
As far as raising money for the bare necessities of government (the military, a few ambassadors, the Supreme Court, and the President) – I’m for the FAIR TAX!! And long may it serve us!
- Social security: It’s more broken than you think (finance.fortune.cnn.com)
- Liar! Liar! David Brooks Bids to Win Politifact Truthiness Award (my.firedoglake.com)