Saturday, July 30, 2011

A political venting

          I seldom write anything political in my blog. I believe my political views are mine, to be shared only when I know I won't be attacked. However, in this instance someone attacks me already.

          For upteen million years, only a bit of an exaggeration, I and my employers paid into the Social Security and Medicare programs. We had no choice in the matter -- we paid and paid and paid and paid. Therefore I and they prepaid for my retirement and health care after I reached a certain age. Note the "paid" part of that prepaid, meaning we paid before the programs would go into effect for me.

          Now I keep hearing and reading how entitlement programs must be cut, and Social Security and Medicare are two items on the top of the cut list, along with some welfare programs. Huh? How can something be considered an entitlement (meaning welfare, not deserved or paid for, but which is given by the government) when my employers and I PAID for my inclusion in those programs. Yes, I am "entitled" the small monthly check I receive and the medical care for which I pay extra each month, entitled if the dictionary definition is used: having a right or claim to, having earned. However, my Social Security and Medicare benefits (small as they are) are not entitlements as now defined by the government: something given by the government but not earned by the recipient.

          Those who think the elderly are not needed and should be quietly, or even not so quietly, pushed away until we go away permanently need to remember they too will be older. Oh, I forgot, those who decide who lives and who doesn't, or who lives well and who doesn't -- those people exempt themselves from being included under any laws they pass.

          I am not a worthless piece of junk. I still have value. I simply do not have political clout or money. I have a small teacher retirement after sacrificing nearly 30 years to prepare youngsters for life, huge medical bills with enormous Medicare and supplement premiums and prescription co-payments, a small Social Security check each month, little to no help, and every cost of living adjustment is wiped out by increases in Medicare and supplement premiums, in the yearly Medicare deductible, and in rising co-payments for prescriptions (another government boondoggle).

          But what do those who reside in our hallowed Washington D.C. halls care? What do people who are not directly effected care? Not at all. We, the senior citizens who worked and sacrificed to make this country great, are disposable. How sad. I pray God will protect us and care for us because the country as a whole doesn't and won't.


Jean Henry Mead said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Vivian.

Marja said...

Ditto! Just take a look around at the contributions we make to society.

Joy Cagil said...

But we are not as powerless...Next time I vote those who are for cutting SS and medicare are not getting my vote.destswin

Beth Anderson said...

I definitely agree, Vivian, and I'm keeping track of anyone who votes for cutting medicare and medicaid. They'd better not do it. There are too many of us who came up the hard way and WILL make noise. I'm sick of them all.

Deb Hockenberry said...

I loved your post, Vivian! You put it better into words than I ever could. You forgot another group of people that's included in Social Security & that's the disabled. If this happens, I'll lose my home, my independence, etc. I'm keeping a close eye on this as you and most people are.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Sad, but true. I hope people wake up this next election and pay attention to what the candidates have in mind for us. Let's get them out of there.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Politics corrupts--those in office, all of them are corrupt. They do not care what is right, they do not care about the people, all they care about is what will be best for them and it doesn't matter what party they are in.


James Writers said...

You said it well, Vivian.


madcapmaggie said...

{claps} Well said.

4RV Publishing said...

I'm upset that D.C. can't seem to "get it right" or listen to the people, well, except they do listen to those they want to impress.

Sharon Ervin said...

I looked up the Social Security set up from its inception, in 1935. The Social Security Trust Fund was conceived to pay benefits out of a large reserve trust fund from contributions by workers.

A separate fund was established in 1940 for surplus funds and the money invested specifically for payment of Social Security benefits.

The reference areas on Google are vast and includes the following:

“The 1983 Amendments also included a provision to exclude the SOCIAL SECURITY TRUST FUND* from the unified budget (In political jargon, it was proposed to be taken “off-budget.”[citation needed] Yet today Social Security is treated like all the other trust funds of the Unified Budget.[citation needed] It is a political way of using a cash budget instead of the more appropriate accrual budget (for all the budgets in the U.S. government), and a way of disguising total debt.[59] This provision also provided for the exemption of Social Security and portions of the Medicare trust funds from any general budget cuts beginning in 1993.[47] This change was one way of trying to protect Social Security funds for the future.

“As a result of these changes, particularly the tax increases, the Social Security system began to generate a large short-term surplus of funds, intended to cover the added retirement costs of the "baby boomers." CONGRESS INVESTED THESE SURPLUSES INTO SPECIAL SERIES, NON-MARKETABLE U.S. TREASURY SECURITIES HELD BY THE SOCIAL SECURITY TRUST FUND. IN OTHER WORDS, CONGRESS BORROWED THE SURPLUSES FROM THE SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM; THE TREASURY SECURITIES HELD BY THE S.S. TRUST FUND ARE U.S. GOVERNMENT "I.O.U.S".

4RV Publishing said...

Yep, the U.S. Government "borrowed" the funds with no intentions of paying back. They created the largest, most invasive Ponzzi scheme in the world. And now that same government wants to "cheat" us more.

They have no shame.

kate2world said...

Entitlements is a misnomer. There needs be two classifications, as there are for Medicare (the contributor-funded receipts) and Medicaid (charity for those who did not contribute to the funding but need medical aid).

When the social security system was enacted, in the 1930's, those who were 65 had worked all their lives, be it in factories, offices, railroads, homemakers (remember, there weren't even pampers back then). If you lived to age 65 during the great Depression, you really had to earn your way somehow. For these workers, who had not contributed to the fund because it didn't exist when they were younger, it was an entitlement earned by virtue of their life of contributing work.

Anyone living now, even centennarians, earning social security and Medicare, worked and paid into the fund during their lifetime. For them social security payments, like Medicare, is not a social or political entitlement, but a return on their lifetime of federally mandated financial contributions.

Viv, you say it well, seniors built this country and have so much to teach us. By their deeds, they have earned our respect and the ever more meager return on their financial investment in the growth of our country (social security). I stand with them to vote out the indigent career politicians for whom 'work' is a dirty word.