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Letter to the Editor - April 22

April 21, 2011

‘Tweaking’ is not answer to Social Security woes


To the editor:

I would like to clarify something here and now. Social Security is not an entitlement; it is an investment program with monies from employers and employees.

Politicians keep saying we need to do something about Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid; all these entitlements are killing us.

On the news, a senior asked President Obama about Social Security. His comment: “We are going to fix it by tweaking it.”

If Congress had left Social Security alone, it would not need “tweaking” or fixing, and there would be tons of money in the coffers. The president and Congress have been “tweaking” this program for years, and the program is becoming insolvent.

I submit to you that this “tweaking” should be called misappropriation, embezzlement, stealing, thievery and every other felony term deemed appropriate.

A recent Herald-Mail story indicated that Social Security had paid out $3.3 billion less than had been taken in. That means there was a surplus (solvency). But here is where the “tweaking” took place. Congress wrote an IOU for the $3.3 billion (which we’ll pay back at a later date) and spent the money on whatever they deemed essential. This has been going on for decades and is why Social Security is in trouble.

The state of Maryland just jacked up the pension shared-cost of state employees by 2 percent because, as Del. Andrew Serafini pointed out, pension funding was not adequate. Did that solve the underfunding? No. The state decided to “tweak” this pension program by diverting most of the newly generated income to the general fund so it could be used to balance the budget. Maybe there needs to be a constitutional amendment prohibiting such action. And the same goes for the federal government when they misappropriate Social Security monies.

Things will never change in this country as long as we have politicians doing whatever they want, and I don’t care if you are a Democrat or a Republican.

 
Edward Kendall
Hagerstown

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