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Modify Social Security Essay

1388 words - 6 pages

Modify Social Security
During the depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt introduced the Social Security program in hopes of it providing insurance to what would inevitably happen in our lives. Established in 1935, it was geared to be solely a retirement program and quickly in 1939 added survivor benefits to the list; then insurances for the disabled in 1965. The original purpose of Social Security Act was to establish a system for the old-aged and adequate provisions for survivors of the dead and the disabled. The Act itself had good intentions of creating a sound Social Security board and increase revenue. According to www.ssa.gov, “The new social insurance program the Committee on Economic ...view middle of the document...

9%, and Social Security was thought to be actuarially solid. The differences between those born from 1917-1921 and the ones before is known as the “notch” and considered unjust from the latter group. In 1983, the National Commission on Social Security Reform was created in hopes of fixing the actuarial uncertainties that were so evident. The group wanted an increase in the self-employment tax, partial taxation of benefits to upper income retirees, expansion of coverage and to increase the retirement age. At this point, they once again swore that the Social Security program was confident in its actuarial duties and payroll taxes increased to 10.8%. For the remaining time of the 80’s, the Social Security Trust Funds were moved so that they could be tracked separately and the cost-of-living-adjustments were increased to balance the inflation; payroll taxes remained at 11.4%. Not until 1993, did the amount of taxable benefits for upper income retirees increase to 85% and the payroll taxes increased to 12.4%. By the end of the 90’s the Social Security Trustees’ Report informed that the system had unfunded liability that had totaled out to more than $19 trillion dollars. Should we cut Social Security, a program that was put in place to protect our future?
The words used in the question are a part of the problem. Every politician seeking votes to stay in office will say “I will not vote to cut a program put in place to protect the future of hard working Americans.” Aside from continuing to support the idea that Americans are entitled to a retirement benefit provided by the government, the politicians are missing the point. The idea is not to cut Social Security but to modify it. To do that we must choose some representatives who are more interested in the future of America than in keeping a job which was also never intended to be permanent.
In The Social Security and Medicare Handbook, written by V.R. Leonard, he speaks of the Social Security as an endangered species and then asked the question “Why?”. According to the handbook, “the future of Social Security rests on the fact that the proportion of today’s spending, almost one-fourth of the federal budget. It is projected to increase dramatically. Medical and health care costs will also continue to increase. Some people believe that this, along with a rise in population and increased investments in private pensions and health plans, spells trouble. This means the number of employed people paying into the system might decrease. When that happens, experts think the number of older people in the United States will more than double. Because of the Baby Boomers increased life expectancy, some say demand for money will rise. It has also been suggested that because of a sharp decrease in the birth rate, that less workers are born to pay later. Social Security will generate less money and filling the gap between less workers and more beneficiaries is what presents a problem.”
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