Letters to the Editor

Letter: Social Security isn't Welfare

To the Editor:

In his July 31 column, David Shribman referred to Social Security and Medicare as “welfare.” Because I and most people around my age paid into both Social Security and Medicare from the age of 18 until retirement at 65 or later, these programs are not welfare programs; we funded them. These benefits are “entitlements” because we paid for and are entitled to them. 

The problem is described in a Forbes article from July 23, 2011: “The answer is that the federal government has borrowed all of that (Social Security) trust fund money and spent it. And the only way the trust fund can get some cash to pay Social Security benefits is if the federal government draws it from general revenues or borrows the money.” 

If the Social Security Trust Fund was administered by financial investment experts instead of the Federal Government who spent it on other things, plenty of money would be available, and none of our politicians (who have a separate retirement plan) would need to consider cutting benefits.

In other words, we “baby boomers” funded these programs ourselves, and are entitled to the benefits. If the Government had wisely invested instead of borrowing this money, these programs would have no financial shortfall. Mr. Shribman and the politicians wanting an easy fix to the social security shortfall should do some research to arrive at a fair solution to this problem they created, without punishing those who followed the rules and earned the benefits.

Thomas Jacobs

McHenry

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