The Third Rail

A familiar term to subway riders and to politicians, as it refers to that great untouchable program, Social Security. There have been a number  of references to said program over the course of the health care debate. ( Obama says campaign against it if you wish cause you will lose, Fidel Castro call it  a “miracle” and World Health Organization is thrilled. All we need now is an endorsement from Iran and we will be set)

Anyway, maybe it’ s a good time  a peek at Franklin Roosevelt’s  creation. It began in 1935 as a way to help lift the elderly out of poverty and by the way, present at the signing was Rep John Dingell of Michigan whose son John, a member of Congress for over 50 years was at the signing of the healthcare bill. The current Rep Dingell made an interesting comment about the healthcare bill being  a way to”control the people.” When asked about the comment he said it referred to dealing with insurance companies that have so much control. Keep veering back towards healthcare do we not?

Anyway, Roosevelt’s  creation was  slightly modified in 1939 and then went virtually unchanged until significant expansion brought about in 1950 under Harry Truman. It has kept on growing since, and may be close to “getting too big for its britches.” There have been several attempts to sound the alarm about benefits exceeding contributions, even some  calls for privatization. even an increase in the contribution base from $60,600 in 1994 to $106,000 in 2009( 57% in you like numbers) has not helped enough. It seems that we are now paying out more than is coming in. Now, a s one who has been paying in for several decades and is approaching the time to receive rather than give;’I will admit to some concerns.

What to do? How about an increase in the contribution level  in the next 5 years to say $150,000? Or, cut benefits or invest in the market or make sure Congress  pays its fair share or ?????


March 25, 2010 - Posted by | Culture, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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