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Don’t let them say that Social Security is an entitlement

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By Robert E. Beckner

We haven’t spoken about Social Security and Medicare for some time now and in the face of our nation’s economic crisis and the results that the huge federal debt is going to have on our future, we should all have a deep concern over this situation.

America has racked up an unprecedented federal debt of more than $11.1 trillion and deep budget cuts are inevitable.

If this administration has its way, seniors will see crippling benefit reductions and very harmful changes to both Social Security and Medicare. It sees our crisis and the high federal debt as an “opportunity” to push for the wanted and desired cuts.

Remember, the President wants “control” of not only all phases of government but your personal lives as well – that’s the description of nothing less than socialism.

Look at the decisions he has already made!

The President recently said, “We will go through our federal budget, page by page, line by line, eliminating those programs we don’t need and insisting that those we do (need), operate in a sensible cost-effective way”.

If he changes Social Security and Medicare, he will own and control it! It’s not hard to predict the special interest groups’ reaction to words like that.

There are 18 groups that met for six months, all at odds over our health care reform. Consumers, insurers, doctors, employers and others. All wanted to get their piece of the budget pie, with little or no regard for senior benefits.

For instance, the powerful insurance industry wants to keep their government-subsidized profits that keep driving up Medicare costs that end up costing you.

Various big businesses are pushing for their own bailout funds, which in turn drive up the Federal debt. You then hear about “entitlement” costs and how they should be cut.

The government and allies have a habit of including Social Security and Medicare as entitlements. Neither is. We all paid into Social Security all of our working life. It’s our money in there and we get some back. It’s not their money that they give us every month.

Medicare is the same way. We pay monthly insurance premiums and get back a small deductible on prescriptions from the coverage “D” of our insurance.

The only entitlement would be “Medicaid” which the government furnishes to those who qualify.

So we find the giant special interest lobbying groups with their allies in Congress and even a few fiscal conservatives who want to destroy any government entitlement programs.

These are the ones always saying that Social Security and Medicare are entitlements. Don’t be fooled. Not surprising, these health care reform groups in their discussions did not include how to pay for their various plans.

They avoided such decisive issues as to whether insurers should be forced to compete with a new government-sponsored insurance plan as proposed by the new President.

During the talks mentioned earlier, two major unions walked out, but additional groups, such as seniors, drug makers, patients and nurses, kept going. Even supporters of guaranteed coverage for all, such as AARP and the American Cancer Society Action Network, were there.

While they agreed basically that the government should pass coverage for all individuals for quality and affordable coverage, they avoided saying that it should mandate individual coverage, plus they avoided saying employers should help pay the premiums.

They wanted to see all adults covered and coverage should include the estimated 48 million the government is now claiming to be uninsured.

This would include 20 million who already have insurance and are paying for it (which they would drop to get free insurance), 12 million illegals who would get insurance, 10 million who are already covered by Medicaid and 16 million who are young and healthy but don’t want to buy insurance, preferring to spend their money the American way – on themselves.

The information the government doesn’t want you to know about: Medicare and Social Security do not need overhauling.

The Social Security fund is a misnomer, since all Social Security funds collected are actually blended into the national general account for any use the government can come up with, plus it reduces on paper the amount shown as our national debt. The so-called “lock box” where the funds were held contains only a bunch of government IOU’s.

The government’s congressional budget office says there is currently $2.4 trillion dollars in the Social Security account which has been collected over many years. This sum will cover all promised benefits for several decades. Even after the trust fund is exhausted, say in 2040, incoming funds from all workers in this far-off future would still cover 81% of benefits into the 2080s.

During this time, with proper education, people will learn how to save better and wisely invest their money and not just rely on Social Security for retirement. This is looking at the future in a positive way.

The government continues to look at it as if the world will continue in chaos, plus they want more money for their social programs and the President’s “redistribution of income.”

Although the administration hopes to balance the budget, it won’t happen. They have already spent too much money “saving” the auto industries, banks, insurance companies and Wall Street.

They’ve gone crazy, raising taxes on all and borrowing.

Surely there are laws and legal options on the books and honorable men and women with the courage, brains and determination who can see what truly is happening to our country and will do what is necessary to get our country back on the right track, moving away from the President’s desire for America to be like the European Socialist democracies.

We are looking at losing our heritage, our sovereignty, our multiple freedoms we’ve had for over 200 years - all because a small percentage of the population was mad at President Bush and the new guy promised “change.” Well, we’re getting “change.”

You, fellow citizen, have a large potential to influence congressional decisions. Please let your representatives hear from you. Tell them to stop the spending, borrowing and taxing before it’s too late.

Robert E. Beckner lives in Majestic Oaks with his wife, Sarah. He is a retired private investigator and insurance adjuster. He has also been a photographer and served with the Military Police in the Marine Corps.