Letters to the Editor

We must protect our Social Security system

We need to keep Social Security solvent because without it millions of middle class Americans will be impoverished in their old age.

Today, 10.6 million people or 22 percent of all people receiving Social Security insurance benefits receive no other old age benefit.

And 67 percent of all retired people get more than half of their retirement income from Social Security.

Social Security will continue to grow in importance since 53 percent of people now working don’t get pensions.

But isn’t Social Security going bankrupt?

No, it has been so successful that it had trillions of surplus dollars in its fund. What happened?

Trillions were used by both political parties to pay for other programs, to pay for expensive and often unproductive wars, and to subsidize the wealthy with lower taxes.

It wasn’t fiscally responsible to have raided the fund and it is not fiscally responsible to not pay those debts back.

Paying even a minority of the program’s IOUs back could make Social Security solvent for a long time, including for people in their 20s.

Adjusting the Social Security tax to its original level would also keep it solvent, regardless of the changing ratio of people working to those retired.

Privatizing it as an alternative offers no long term security of a safe payout.

Why burden especially the elderly with that uncertainty?

Protecting the Social Security program for the retirement needs of the middle class is the right and smart thing to do.