Thursday, February 14, 2008

And we want more of this from the government?

“The cost of benefits to seniors soared to a record $27,289 per senior in 2007” according to a USA Today analysis.

“Economist Dean Baker calls it "granny bashing" to focus on the cost of senior benefits. The elderly paid a designated tax for Social Security and Medicare taxes during their decades of working to support these programs when they retired, says Baker, co-director of the liberal Center for Economic Policy and Research.”

I have news for Dean, and I guess he would know this, if you add up all of the benefits paid into Social Security and Medicare for the current senior recipients, their total contribution is less than the $27,000 they are getting paid per year now. That is not “granny bashing”, that is a fact we must come to terms with.

It shows the inherent problem with the system; no sustaining mechanism to keep it from going broke without saddling the upcoming generations with exorbitant taxes, which they will eventually refuse to pay. Continuing on the current path will turn generations against each other at some point. It is not about people getting something back from Social Security and Medicare, it is how much?

We need to create real accounts for Social Security and Medicare for starters. Get the slimy politicians hands out of our “cookie jar” and put it in our own “personal accounts”. Accounts we can’t touch until we are 62. Give people the choice to invest like we do with current 401K and IRA accounts. Heck, I would be happy at this point if they just got simple interest. Anything is better than the “IOU” ponsy scheme we currently have.

Anyone younger than 50 should know that in retirement, the benefit received from Social Security will not exceed $1000 dollars a month, so start saving. The $1000.00 will be there only to supplement people’s retirement (like it was intended) not to be the only source of retirement.

The current seniors have been sold a bill of goods by our politicians and we must not penalize them for this injustice. What we need to do going forward though is to communicate to everyone, this system is broken and we are going to fix it. It is the moral thing to do. No one should have to retire on what the government decides is an acceptable amount of income. It will never be enough. When people know what to expect they can plan for it. Then each generation will not be bitter about handing over their hard earned money to people that didn’t save for their own retirement. Just a thought…

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