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What to do about Social Security...

GDO Report

ATLANTA, Ga. - For today's politician to endorse a major change to Social Security would be political suicide.  Increasing SS taxes, raising the retirement age or lowering benefits are taboo.  Or aren't they? 
Is privatization the answer?  Is there a better solution?

Politicians all the way up to the President are looking for ideas and they want to hear what we think about the ones already on the table..  Let's let them know what we think...


Reader Response:

I am greatly concerned about the proposal put forth in the comittee chaired by the Honorable Saxby Chambliss
that want to cut medicare benifits in order NOT to have deep cuts in FARM SUBSIDIARIES.

Why not have deep cuts in FARM SUBSIDIARIES if ANY FARM CONGLOMERATE is paid for not planting and
allowing fields to lay dormant year after year and anyone (former President Jimmy Carter included) who is
making in excess of $100,000.00 a year to continue to receive any Farm Subsidiary. It is favoritism stright
up and down.

Why is Congress picking on Medicare? I think it's because the folks who draw Medicare don't contribute
to political candidates, politicans or have a Washington Lobbyist. Sure many might join AARP but
does AARP really look out for the ones drawing medicare? Most times a AARP Lobbyist will compromise with the big
Washington Lobbyist and claim to the AARP members they were looking out for them. Talk about blowing

Congress could save millions of dollars every year simply by cutting out all the perks everyone in
government receive every year at TAX PAYERS EXPENSE. What are they? Well, let's name a few.

(1) Franking. That where every piece of mail congress sends out in the US MAIL is POSTAGE FREE. Don't talk
about junk mail, at lease they pay postage.

(2) Subsidized Meals. Every government worker that eats in a government run cafeteria or lunch room that
caters to government workers is able to buy meals at about 1/4 of what it would cost to eat in an off site
cafeteria or restaurant.

(3) Gyms. Congress has its own gym and trainers who are paid by the tax payer. Anyone in congress who
wishes to use the facility doesn't pay a cent. It's FREE. Even the YMCA isn't really 'free' to a tax payer.

(4) Retirement plan. It doesn't get any better than this. Congress and government workers have their own
retirement plans paid for by the TAX PAYER and it has nothing to do with SOCIAL SECURITY.

Talk about fixing Social Security, why aren't ALL FEDERAL, STATE, COUNTY, CITY and ALL SCHOOL EMPLOYEES
under SOCIAL SECURITY? Put all the above under Social Security and get the hands of CONGRESS OUT OF THE
SOCIAL SECURITY TRUST; there would be no need to 'FIX' Social Security.

(5) Health Care. ALL FEDERAL, STATE, COUNTY, CITY and ALL SCHOOL EMPLOYEES have their own special HEALTH
PLANS. Do you think the adverage tax payer has a chance of being covered under any of their type Health
and Prescription Plans? Dream on!

I'm sorry, but I think it's time for ALL FEDERAL, STATE, COUNTY, CITY and ALL SCHOOL EMPLOYEES to come
clean and let the TAX PAYERS know just what kind of gravey train they have.

Don't hold your breath for it to happen though.

J.  Ross - Norcross, GA

Reader Response:

The notion of privatizing Social Security is merely step in the wrong direction. As proposed, polictics have complicated the matter. The government has set rulles that limit the amount that one can privately invest. Also, the proceeds cannot be drawn in a lump sum at retirement, instead they have to be received as an annuity. The problem is when you expire before you have recieved all of your money(principle and earnings), that money cannot be left to your heirs and assigns. It is simply gone. So in this not uncommon scenario, you have still loaned the government money to fund someone elses retirement or others who simply do not want to work. It remains that the best person to take care of your retirement is still you. President Bush has conceived of a great idea, but it is diminshed by government control.

Marcus Head - Lawrenceville, Georgia

Reader Response:

Wait until the readers find out that the Bush Administration has signed an agreement with Mexico to include Mexican workers in American social security and disability benefits.....[ Google "Totalization"] can you say "bankrupt third world America"?

D.A. King - Marietta

Reader Response:

The solution is to put all retirees (government and public) in the same retirement plan. Then all problems would disappear.

Cliff & Ellie

Reader Response:

I'm writing to ask when the media is going to recognize the fact that draconian sentences imposed by the pardon and parole board in the state of georgia are robbing citizens of important health care and educational benefits:

By supporting excessive sentences for non violent, drug related first offenders, the DOC is supporting their own prison system, but taking taxpayer money away from Medicaid and Education.

Wouldn't it be better to provide health care to low income people, than to ask the taxpayers of Georgia to support the prison mentality whereby prisoners in ga are made to serve seven times ordinary guidelines in prison, compared to what they serve in other states?

What does this tell you about the mentality of the state of GA?

Are they interested in good health care for low income people, or do they support keeping men in prison to work for nothing in order to perpetuate the plantatiion/slave mentality in the state of ga.?

It's all about pollitics.

Vote with your heart, and ask the state senators in your district about their stand on this issue.

Insist that they tell you what they believe. If they don't support your agenda, don't vote for them!


Reader Response:

" Some folks are dissatisfied with free enterprise if it doesn't work perfectly and satisfied with government if it works at all."
- Daniel B. Klein

" Dependency plus paranoia equals votes."
- Thomas Sowell 1-30-05

In the never-ending discussion of the efficacy of partial Social Security privatization, it would be illustrative to hear from a person who has experienced a similar program.
In a January 30, 2005 letter to the Fort Myers (Florida) News-Press, retired teacher James R. Irwin of Fort Myers recounts his experience with a private investment account and how the account compared to what he would have received from Social Security. The private plan won in a blowout, as you might have guessed. Growth trumps redistribution every time, and the Reagan stock market boom sent these accounts into orbit. The boom, despite some stumbles since, continues today. If you can replace Social Security with a Tax-Sheltered Annuity, I would advise you to do so.

Mr. Irwin says he was allowed to invest some of his school system income into a Tax-Sheltered Annuity, beginning in 1980. He worked seven more years and then retired in 1987. He says, " My contributions amounted to a very modest, low five figures. Twelve years later, this TSA investment had grown 985.2 percent, almost ten times what I had invested." (The Reagan stock market was great, no matter what the medialeft tries to tell you - m.m.).
He continues : "In 2000, I began collecting annual income from this TSA. In the five years since doing so, I have received 195.2 percent of my original investment - almost twice what I had invested."

Mr. Irwin, obviously a savvy investor and sensible man, says he realizes the years involved were periods of superior investment growth and might not be representative of future stock performance, but also notes that the period included a large recession and several smaller ones. Still, the privatized account produced an exceptional rate of return. (The lesson - stick with the program and relax, be patient - m.m.).
" If I were 20-40 years younger and had the option to invest a portion of my Social Security tax privately, would I do so ? You betcha ! ", says Mr. Irwin.
He notes that his TSA is similar to the privatization plan proposed by President Bush. It worked very well for him and he endorses it enthusiastically.
" If some wish to be a complete dependent of Uncle Sam and his investment in the U.S. treasury, that's their choice. But this choice shouldn't be foisted upon everyone " , concludes Mr. Irwin. Amen !

There are other advantages to privatization. Your account can be willed to your heirs, unlike Social Security, which has no inheritance features. All Social Security taxes are immediately forfeited to the government. There is no lockbox, no guarantee that you will receive anything. If you do not live to retirement age, you essentially receive nothing other than a very small death benefit. Supreme Court cases have held that Social Security is not insurance. All taxes taken in by the program are immediately paid out to recipients. Of course, look for the naysay crowd of scaremongers, including many status quo / statist quo establishment Republican and Democrat windbags to start the scare tactics whenever sensible changes are proposed. Democrats don't even have to crank the hysteria machine. Republican "moderates" do the dirty work for them.

Fort Myers retiree James R. Irwin knows better than to believe the crybabies. So should you. If you want a one-word definition of the current Social Security system, I have one for you : nonsustainable.
From 7-24-04 

" The courts have always given an expanded definition to powers granted to the government, and a restricted definition to individual liberties."
Law professor Butler Shaffer

" Each party wants you to think the other party is very bad, while minimizing any substantive difference with it."
- Joseph Sobran 7-8-04

" All Social Security obligations could be met if Congress did not spend so much on other things ."
- Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) 1-24-05 (toll-free update number is 1-888-322-1414


Reader Response:

I believe linking entitlements to privatized financial entities will result in the elderly living in the streets and starving/freezing to death.  This is exactly what FDR was trying to put an end to when he established Social Security.

Just before the most recent stock market adjustment, many were pushing to give the American workforce the option of participating in SS or in privatized 401k's, mutual funds or other such funds.  Those critics all got pretty quiet during and after the stockmarket adjustment.

I don't know what the answer is, but it can't depend on our economic state and it certainly can't be tied to whatever is happening on Wallstreet at any

Reader Response:

Privatize Social Security? Well, why not? The proposed plan would mean that you have a choice - you could choose to leave all of your money in the
existing 'federal government controlled' system, or decide to put some of your Social Security taxes in a money market account of some (very
restricted and government supervised) 'private' nature.

Gee, that's the same deal that our federal congressmen get. So why do they say it's bad for us?

Oh, yeah - it's just the Democrats that say it's bad for us. But wasn't it the Democrats under Lyndon Johnson that first took the 'lockbox' off of
Social Security and put it in the General Fund so Congress could spend it?

And wasn't it the Democrats that first put a tax on Social Security benefits? (And then they later increased this tax, with Al Gore casting the
deciding vote.)

And wasn't it the Democrats that decided that retired immigrants who moved into this country after age 65 could also receive Social Security (even
though these people never put a dime into the system)?

The answer to all of these questions is YES, it was the Democrats! And now they tell me the Republicans want to take my Social Security away. What
amazes me the most is - people believe them.

They also tell us that Social Security is not going to be in trouble in 2018 because the money that Congress has been borrowing from the Social Security
fund is secured with T-Notes that will become payable at that time. Where, exactly, do you think the money is going to come from to pay off these
T-Notes? The government has been 'robbing Peter to pay Paul' for years and it's all going to come crashing down in 2018.

We've got to start fixing Social Security NOW! Private Accounts - YES. Increase the retirement age to 70 - YES. Increase the maximum income for
paying into Social Security to $140,000 a year - YES. Index Social Security benefits in relation to other retirement benefits a person is receiving -
YES. And anything else we can think of!

Or we can continue to let the Democrats decide our future - after all they've done such a bang-up job of managing the Welfare State!

Terry Bond - Dacula

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