Social Security must endure | LETTER TO THE EDITOR
December 3, 2010 · Updated 8:13 AM
To the editor:
For all the talk about our appalling national debt, very few people are talking about how we got it. The large increase in the national debt over the last several years was caused by two unnecessary wars, tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and Wall Street bailouts. Unlike Social Security, these initiatives were funded with borrowed money.
In contrast, Social Security has not contributed a dime to the deficit and has a $2.6 trillion surplus. It is a self-funded program that lifts people out of poverty, and it is truly one of America’s greatest success stories.
Despite all of the rhetoric, Social Security is not going bankrupt. According to the Congressional Budget Office, Social Security can pay out every nickel owed to every eligible American for the next 29 years, and after that, about 80 percent of benefits if nothing is done.
Moreover, simply removing the cap on payroll taxes for the wealthiest Americans, who could most afford it, would make Social Security sustainable long into the future.
We all know something needs to be done about the deficit, but let’s look beyond Social Security. Why not start with our defense spending, which is supremely wasteful and marked by abuse and fraud?
I urge everyone to contact their Congresspersons and tell them to vote “No” on any proposal that cuts or weakens Social Security! Our representatives must also be told in no uncertain terms that their failure to do so will end their political careers.
Marshall F. Goldberg