As Social Security just celebrated its 75th birthday this past week, politicians have not denied themselves any golden opportunity to use this as a ticket to get more votes even if it means telling half-truths or flat out lying.
To current Social Security recipients, this is a very serious matter and to people paying into Social Security this is becoming an all too familiar issue, parties saying different facts and figures but rarely back them up with solid proof or anybody answering the questions being asked.
In President Obama’s Saturday Radio Address he stated, “Seventy-five years ago today, in the midst of the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt signed Social Security into law, laying a cornerstone in the foundation of America’s middleclass, and assuring generations of America’s seniors that after a lifetime of hard work, they’d have a chance to retire with dignity.”
He went on to say, “One thing we can’t afford to do is privatize Social Security – an ill-conceived idea that would add trillions of dollars to our budget deficit while tying your benefits to the whims of Wall Street traders and the ups and downs of the stock market.”
As usual, the different parties and their constituents have different opinions on whether Social Security should be privatized or paid into the Social Security Trust Fund maintained by the U.S. Treasury.
Many Americans believe that Social Security is broke or going broke. According the Congressional Budget Office Projections, Social Security can continue to pay 100 percent of promised benefits for more than 25 years, until 2037, with no changes and three-quarters benefits for 75 years, until 2085. With modest changes, Social Security can pay our children and our grandchildren.
A question that has come up is another program Supplemental Security Income (SSI) which is a government program that provides to low income persons who are either aged (65 or older), blind or disabled. This program can also be provided to children. Although administered by the Social Security Administration, SSI is funded by the U.S. Treasury general funds, not the Social Security Trust Fund. SSI was created in 1974 to replace federal-state adult assistance programs that served the same purpose. Today the program provides benefits to 7.6 million Americans.
With so many questions and rumors going around regarding Social Security and other programs that sound as though they fall under the same Social Security Trust Fund, it is not surprising that politicians try to use this as a campaign token to draw voters in by either just confusing their constituents or making their campaign ads in a way that either lie or bend the truth. Often, when asked straight forward questions, they find a way to avoid answering the question directly because when a vote comes up, they don’t want to be caught voting in a way they said they wouldn’t.
One question is will the retirement age be raised to receive full benefits (100%) of a person’s Social Security? A very good tool to use at the moment is on the Social Security website. There is talk of this changing and at the moment, that is just what it is. But, the age limit has recently changed. Using the tool is as simple as putting in the year of a person’s birth.
The breakdown is this.
Prior to 1942 – 100% at age 65
1943-1954 – 100% at age 66
1955 – 100% at age 66 yrs + 2 mos.
1956 – 100 % at age 66 yrs + 4 mos.
1957 – 100 % at age 66 yrs. + 6 mos.
1958 – 100 % at age 66 yrs. + 8 mos.
1959 – 100% at age 66 yrs. 10 mos.
1960 and later – at age 67
Over the years, there’s always problems with fraud and people taking advantage of “the system”. This uses a lot of tax money unnecessarily and takes away from those who do need the funds to live and have earned the money. One of the best ways to prevent fraud is to report fraud and of course to never be a part of the problem but always a part of the solution. To report Social Security Fraud, call 1-800-269-0271 or use this online form.
Social Security is not only paid to those who qualify by age as some may think. Children can be entitled to receive Social Security Child’s Benefits if a deceased parent was fully insured by Social Security and meet the necessary criteria. A spouse may also qualify as long as they also meet certain criteria as well.
Social Security is a very important part of everyone’s life, both now and in the future. It shouldn’t matter if a person is a Democrat or a Republican or too young to even vote at this moment.
This is something that has worked for 75 years and was put together with very admirable reasons and very well thought out. This should still be looked at as a goal for all Americans and by all Americans.
Many statements are being made by candidates running for re-election or office. These cause rumors or confusion but nonetheless, they spread. Most often if a person goes to the candidate’s website, that statement is not there because it wasn’t substantial enough to post next to their name due to it being unfounded, weak or compromising. Social Security is too important for games, lies, deceptions or costly mistakes.
In his weekly address, President Obama said, “We’ve been talking for a long time” about how to fix Social Security’s issues, “and I am committed to working with anyone, Democrat or Republican, who wants to strengthen Social Security.”
Mr. President, so are many Americans.