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America's Problems

In: Social Issues

Submitted By camccutc
Words 839
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Our Social Security program is in serious trouble. What is the solution? One possible answer is to look towards the privatization of funds. Pick up a magazine, newspaper, listen to the radio, or even turn on the television and you can’t help hearing someone talk about our Social Security program. Seeing that we are getting ready for the upcoming presidential election, the subject of what to do with our Social Security is definitely on everyone’s mind. Social Security is a crucial portion in any business compensation package. It is something that we cannot do without, or can we? So what’s wrong with our Social Security program? Talk to several different people and you most likely will not get the same answer. As the following pages unfold, you will have a snapshot on the background history of the program, a view on what is wrong, and some possible solutions. The need for economic security can be traced back to the early Greek civilization, who stockpiled olive oil as a way to secure their future. The groundwork for a public system of economic security could be seen during the late 1700’s, as Thomas Paine, a Revolutionary War figure, published a business proposal depicting the need. The Civil War era saw the creation of pension plans (mainly military). It wasn’t until 1906 that “old age” was added to the means of obtaining a pension. Significant events in our history were a preview for the creation of our
Social Security program, as we know it today. President Roosevelt signed the executive order for the Social Security Act, on 14 August 1935. As Richard Henderson states in his book titled
Compensation Management in a Knowledge-Based Word, the passage of the Social Security
Act in 1935 guaranteed some amount of income to workers reaching retirement age and to workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own (Henderson 84).
President Roosevelt’s administration based it on a social insurance foundation, instead of centering it on welfare. This idea of social insurance began in Europe, during the 19th century. Our Social Security program has been amended several times. In 1939, the program was changed to a family-based economic security program; as a result, moving slightly away from a retirement structure. Disability benefits came on-board around the early 1950s. The
“retirement age” was lowered to 62 years old, in 1961. President Nixon added what is known as Supplemental Security Insurance or SSI, during his time in office. There were several other amendments that added to the foundation of our Social Security program. The concern of financing the funds, for the program, started to become a hot issue during the late 1970s and has been ever since. So what’s wrong with our Social Security program today? Is the program running out of money? Typically, the more liberal individuals will say that Social Security is adding to our budget concerns, or that the program is taking money out of the United States Treasury Department.
This mind set could not be farther from the truth. Our government, in fact, has been dipping into the Social Security funds, by justifying that it has been needed elsewhere. Ted Nugent mentioned, in an article to The Washington Times, that there is an IOU for $2.5 trillion in the
Social Security trust fund. The reason for this is that our elected bandits stole all the Social
Security taxes collected over the years and spent it on who knows what (Nugent 1). There is a tremendous strain on the funds as it is, without Uncle Sam putting his hand in the cookie jar.
Over the last two decades, individuals collecting disability has doubled. If this isn’t disturbing enough, disability trust funds have been in the red for the past seven years. At the current rate, the fund could be completely exhausted by 2018. Funds for other benefit payments might last until 2036. Social Security has come a long way since President Roosevelt signed the executive order, in 1935. The program was created with our economic security in mind as we aged in life.
Lately, it has been clearly evident that our Social Security program is not so secure after all. It will not be able to continue to operate as we know it, if the financial status does not change.
Cutting Medicare, or even another benefit program, is not the answer. With this in mind, whoever mentions that our Social Security takes money out of the United States Treasury
Department should think again. The road ahead will definitely not become any smoother if we do not develop a new course, for this crucial program. A direct result if we continue as such, is another potential disaster, like the one barely diverted back in 1983, only this time around could be much worse. So if we do not go ahead with adopting the privatization of retirement funds, then we must put in-place political leaders who will fix this vital program. What will we leave our younger folks for their future?…...

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