I'm writing this letter about an issue that is very important to me, my family and friends, and one that is getting the wrong attention in this political season: Social Security.
Overall, the second presidential debate made the difference between the two candidates even more stark. There wasnt much discussion about Social Security and Medicare but we already know their positions on this essential retirement system draw huge contrasts. For starters it is not an entitlement program, but an earned benefit. You pay into the system from the first day of your employment, it is a promise that is made, when you are older and retire these guaranteed benefits will be there for you.
Social Security and Medicare are two of the most successful government run programs and they are not broke. Right now the trust fund is good until 2036, and with some small improvements we can assure that they will be around for our grandchildren. One change that many Democrats are open to, but Mitt Romney and the GOP have written off, is increase the Social Security tax cap to a higher amount (it is currently $110,100) or get rid of it.
Romney talks about preserving it but in fact he has proposed cuts and big changes that taken together would totally destroy the program. He has endorsed increasing the retirement age, decreasing the cost of living adjustment, paying smaller benefits to middle class and high income people (i.e. means testing, something which undermines support for the program) and even partial privatization. He does not call it privatization but rather letting people invest their own money. The practical effect would be privatization would take money out of the Social Security system and put it in the stock market, a much more risky investment. We all know what happened to Wall Street and Main Street is still paying.
My late husband paid into the system for almost 50 years and never collected a dime because he died before he could reap any of his earned benefits. He is not alone. There are millions who pay into the system and dont get money out compared to the millionaires who no not pay their fair share yet can still collect. It is not right and this country cannot keep doing the same thing and expect different results.
Charlene W. Allen