I have been in Florida for the past few weeks and the news is out. Social Security expects to increase by a paltry 1.2% for the next year. The problem is, the cost of medicare will rise above that amount which means for the third year in a row there will be no increase in benefits to the millions of seniors who depend on their checks for survival. Here in Florida where the average age is considerably higher than the rest of the country, the news has been devastating.
Just last week the head of the Social Security Administration described the reason there would be no increase. His conclusion is that there is no inflation. His belief is that prices are not really going up. Apparently the rising cost of fuel, food, medical care, clothing, services, transportation, and all of the other things you and I spend money on is just our imagination. He seems to believe that Social Security recipients are in better shape today than they have ever been. I have a question. What planet is this moron living on? Does he go to the grocery store? Does he buy his own gasoline? I find that virtually everything my wife and I buy is going up and not by just a little but by a lot.
Social Security is called an entitlement. I believe that calling it that makes it easier for our elected leaders to treat it as some sort of welfare. As I have written before, Social Security is a contractual debt owed by the Federal Government to me as well as all those who have paid into this fund and have reached the age where that payment is due. It is not a gift to be doled out and treated as if it were some sort of privilege. It is instead a debt owed to the recipients just as cost of living increases are owed by the government. We never had a choice of whether or not to invest in Social Security. Our wages were hijacked by the government. Now the debt is called and payment is due. Don’t fall for the notion that senior citizens are some sort of dependents waiting with hat in hand for the largess of the plantation owner to take care of us. Nonsense. We are creditors and we demand to be paid our just and proper return.
I learned that the Social Security Administration has until the end of September to determine whether or not there will be a COLA increase for this year. You and I need to make sure our employees, our Congresspeople, hear our thoughts and know clearly where we stand regarding this debt owed by the government. They need to understand that we will not be passive any longer. It is not welfare. It belongs to us. Past congresses have raided and stolen from our funds and now the chickens are coming home to roost. The reality is that many seniors are living an entire year on less than just the raise Congress voted for themselves. Our elected representatives should be ashamed. Imagine, if you will, how different this all would be if Congresspeople had to follow the same rules as everybody else.
If Congress insists on calling Social Security an entitlement then know this. Entitlement means I own title to this fund. I bought it and therefore I own it, just like you do. Having reached the age whereby that fund has to start paying me back for my lifetime of investing, I expect no less than precisely that.
Ron Scarbro April 4, 2011
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