Letter to the Editor: Changes to social security
I would like to suggest that adults of all ages pay attention to the talk going on in the federal government about possible changes to Social Security.
While some changes may need to be, persons who have the capability and resources have researched the situation and indicate that Social Security will have sufficient funds for all retirees at least twice as long as is being declared from the State Department. There are several possible small things that could be done to adjust Social Security to make it OK still longer.
However, the one plan that comes from Pres. Bush and is talked about almost exclusively in the media has to do with reducing what is paid in and expecting that each individual will "invest" the rest of the amount themselves. There are many negatives to this. Some are: 1-Social Security is intended from its beginning to particularly aid those who are poor or middle income. Most of these people, if not all, are not likely to invest, even should it be enough to do so. They will see it simply as the money they earn that they need for food, shelter, medical needs and clothing. 2-If less is paid in, especially by the wealthy or higher income middle class, there will be less to go into the trust and therefore less to be available to pay out for those who really need it. 3-A frequently mentioned negative is what it would cost to change to this type of system.
Those in government and out, who want this type of adjustment, play on the idea of independence and freedom to choose how to invest and set up funding for retirement. Freedom and independence for most persons who receive Social Security is satisfied by having enough for their basic human needs. The fact that most would not or could not invest destroys that possibility. One also cannot guarantee that those who invest would actually make much, if any, profit.
If persons wish to have funds available, they can invest it now. They are the ones more likely to do so with the proposed system because they are not struggling to make ends meet on a daily basis. Again, it is those who struggle that Social Security was intended to help. It was recognized by the government that many good hard working people were spending their last years in want. (In some cases they still are because Social Security does not stretch far enough now especially in some parts of the country.)
The federal government often has borrowed from the Social Security funds because it does well. These debts are not likely to be paid back at this time, but paying back should be a consideration.
So my suggestion includes, after paying attention to what is being pushed to change Social Security, each person take their responsibility as a citizen to write the President, our senators and representatives to say what you think about the ideas.