• 73°

Ada Fisher: Social Security under siege

The political debates are totally dishonest in regard to Social Security. Ponzi scheme or not, the problem is the funds were moved from a private account to the general Treasury during the Lyndon B. Johnson Administration, thereby allowing them to be tapped without transparency for everything — from the Vietnam War to educational program funding to pork barrel mysteries. As such, IOUs were reportedly given the Treasury for citizen retirement supplemental monies while spend-hungry congressmen never intended repayment of this debt.

First, Social Security should be maintained in that elusive “Lock Box” discussed by then-candidate Al Gore with no access by the Treasury to its bounty except future payment of recipients. As such, 5 percent of the monies due the fund should be required as an annual repayment from the Treasury over the next 20 years minimally until the debt is repaid with interest. Current recipients should be paid from the Treasury until the Social Security fund is fully restored in a separate account. Doing this is the only way for the public to get their money as well as truly appreciate the national debt, which could then likely top a staggering $50 trillion.

Second, Social Security is the one benefit that is doubly taxed. The money owed is based on the tax value of personal income. Then it is taxed again at withdrawal. All taxes should be removed from Social Security after the initial investment. It is not the poor who pay disproportionately but Social Security investors. What we are doing, if continued, is like repeatedly robbing the bank in allowing the government to take out money which is yours whenever and for whatever it wants.

Third,  many people are getting benefits for which no buy-in occurred, e.g. family members can receive benefits if they are under-aged children or widows, yet no extra monies were put in by the enrollees for them. Social Security after 2020 should require for new investors that only those who put into the system can withdraw from it. Supplemental monies are required to cover those other than the investor.

Fourth, the Totalization Agreement with Mexico allows Social Security funds collected from illegal aliens (which is over $1 billion per year) to be given to that government. These monies should be placed in the Social Security Trust Fund for appropriate use, which might include compensation to states with illegal populations exceeding 10 percent.

Fifth, progressively raising the retirement age to 67 — as advocated by Paul Ryan’s previous “Pathway to Prosperity” and other politicians on both sides of the aisle — is certain to rob the poor and give to those of modest means and the rich. Appreciating that the average age of death for black males is around 70 though their life expectancy is only 75.9 years of age, increasing the time one is required to work and delaying compensation as age advances is almost certain to see too many die before they can appreciate any savings from their money. This is not fair.

Lastly, the system of investment and withdrawal for retirement could be boosted by measures which are fairer. George W. Bush proposed letting people pay an additional amount into Social Security for their savings, e.g. 10 percent. This should also be made tax free like a Roth Account. If recipients die before monies invested are paid out, then their beneficiaries should have a right of inheritance. Pension reform is also desperately needed to insure that they are funded to the 80 percent level.  Those who invest for retirement should not be penalized in having their Social Security withheld, for it is their money taken with no such requirement assumed.

The Office of Management and Budget has dire projections on entitlements, noting that by 2027 half of all federal revenue will go to paying down interest on the national debt (not touching the principle) and the other half will be allocated to entitlements.  All debates should focus on where cuts should be made and why, how to right government programs such that self-sustainability rules with accountability and the need for government grants to show within three years they can operate autonomously.  All this while protecting the nation’s security.  Can we get real please?

Dr. Ada M. Fisher of Salisbury is the N.C. Republican National Committee Woman and former school board member. Contact her at P. O. Box 777, Salisbury, N.C. 28145; DrFisher@DrAdaMFisher.org.

 

Comments

Local

Hundreds turn out for annual Juneteenth celebration on newest federal holiday

Local

Between local champions and an upcoming state tournament, pickleball putting Salisbury on map

Business

Business leaders hope to draw big crowd for job fair at West End Plaza

News

Officers cleared in Mooresville shooting

Business

From firefighter to photographer, Brianna Mitschele is ready to capture more moments in downtown Salisbury

News

25 years later, runners reflect on Olympic torch’s trip through Rowan

News

Commissioners to consider designating Newberry Hall House as county historic landmark

Farm & Garden

51st annual Old Southeast Threshers’ Reunion set for July 1-5

Business

Biz Roundup: St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Foundation awards grants from Salisbury to Jerusalem

Lifestyle

Kristy Woodson Harvey: For Dad

News

South Salisbury Fire Department activates new weather siren

Lifestyle

Library Notes: Meet the ‘Dare Devil Dogs’ in Week 5

Faith

Q&A with Bishop Tim Smith

College

Wolfpack tops Stanford falls in College World Series opener

Lifestyle

‘Down by the Praise Pond’ shares local author’s faith in debut children’s book

Nation/World

Driver crashes into crowd at Pride parade in Florida; 1 dead

News

Search continues after 3 tubers die, 2 disappear at dam

News

Research from NC State professors is aboard space station

Education

Livingstone College celebrates federal recognition of Juneteenth

College

Wolfpack faces Stanford today in College World Series

Nation/World

Tropical weather lashes Gulf Coast with winds, rain

News

Cooper vetoes bill that would have allowed more to carry guns in churches

Nation/World

Girl attacked by bear in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

News

Two tubers remain missing after going over Dan River dam