Social Security – is it in danger?


The first sentence is a posting I received on FaceBook, and it has caused quite a lot of chatter. I have brought the discussion over here to try and calm some of the panic that may be going on because of scare statements like this. I deliberately took out names so as to not embarrass or insult anyone. The Questions or just comments/arguments/debates are marked Q, and the Answers are marked Me.

Comment: 50 House Republicans signed a letter saying they want to put our Social Security benefits on the chopping block.

Me: All they could possibly do is stop people from paying in to social security. They cannot touch those of us who have already paid I and are getting our money. But I think even the teapublicans might not do this if they have family living on social security.

Q: Oh, but you are wrong. They can attach your cost of living increases to the chained cpi and screw you starting next year.

Me: So I don’t get a COL – as long as I get the money I have coming in already, I can survive just fine, thank you.

Q: I am glad to hear that but I vote that we work for you to get all your benefits. All we need is a democratic house and senate…..

Another Q: Whoa…my COL increase was ten dollars…first in years.

Me: I’ve had several since I started getting my money in 2003. I started out getting something like $717 a month, now I get $975.

Q: Often the medicare increase will eat most of it. But without it, your check goes down as medicare goes up.

Me: I am also covered by Medicaid, which pays my premiums, and picks up and pays the costs that Medicare does not cover. This is because I’m over 65 and live below the federal poverty rate. Do I feel like I’m in jeopardy? I really don’t. We the People will make sure I’m not.

Q: What happens if we don’t get a check next month? I will be ok… but there are others who are really hurting right now. These egotistical jerks need to shut up and reopen the government.

Me: I won’t be on the street. City-assisted housing will be allowing us to remain, we just need to pay when we get our money. The only thing I will really need will be groceries, but I have friends who will make sure I don’t starve – or my cats either. But again, I don’t fear this happening. The shut down will have no effect. Social Security is not a government entity as far as its employees. The thing that could possibly hurt it would have something to do with not raising the debt ceiling, but again, I think there is money available, at least for another month. The lack of money could suffer somewhat for the loss of money coming in from those in the government who are not getting paychecks, thus not paying out social security, but there are enough in private industry who are still paying into their social security. The problems begin when private industry starts laying off its employees because they may be affected by no shipments or products start tapering off, and there is nothing to sell. I am not ready to panic.

Q: They were saying that the priorities such as the interest on the loans and such would be paid and that SS would not be high on the list.

Me: Ryan’s mother lives on social security, even though he is wealthy. Many of those Republicans and teapublicans have friends and family on social security. My bet would be the bulk of them would not be enthusiastic to pitch in to help their own families. – mostly because teapublicans don’t tend to be wealthy people themselves. Too many of them are white people who live in the southern states where poverty is higher than in many areas of the country. Think trailer park dollies and their men, and beer-swilling rednecks, and Appalachian-country style po’ folks. Grover Norquist and the Koch Brothers and the Boehners, McConnells, Cantors, Pauls, Cruzes, Cornyns, et al, have money, but the teapartiers that are depending on them to cut down the government are not thinking about how it is going to affect them. They may think it will starve the blacks in their states, but it will hit a lot of white folk too. There has been only one hurricane this year (the rest were tropical storms), but there just needs to be one really bad storm (the season does not end until November 30) to set those in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, both coasts, Texas, and the Carolinas to learn what it means to not have government around to help out. Or horrific snow storms in the mountains of Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia to bring economic disaster on themselves. I don’t think we would lose out on more than one check to cause people to think again. Especially if it hits around the Christmas season, and there is no money to buy presents for the kiddies.

Now I realize not everyone has the safeguards I do, things which I worked really hard for, using the help of my one-time State Representative to get everything that I was “entitled” to (because I put 47 years in the workforce, and paid into all these programs I now take advantage of). The housing is separate, but I applied for it nearly two years before I got it because I could see the writing on the wall over housing in Austin, TX – rents and such. And I was/am eligible because of my age and my living below the federal poverty level.

Those of you who are eligible for help, but refuse to ask for it because you are either ashamed, or think the government should be smaller, made your choice, and I made mine. Because I prefer to not live on people who have had nothing to do with my life or my living throughout my life, I have taken advantage of everything that I believe is due to me because of having worked for so many years.

I pity anyone who is hungry, or lives in a shack with an outdoor toilet, just because you have some sort of pride. I am not ashamed, and I will have what I have earned. Because I lived way too many years not being paid what I was worth.

So for anyone who is listening to stupid men saying they are going to take away your social security or your medical care or your food stamps, you had better look around and consider who all else is being threatened with these things, and see how many of them might be family and/or friends of the very people threatening to take it all away from you. And whether they have enough money to carry them, and therefore are not worried about you

Think about it.

Carol Stepp
Austin, TX

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About carolstepp

Music is about the most important thing in my life, and I follow a large number of musicians, particularly Irish, Scots, Classical, Crossovers of any of these. I was writing a blog about Celtic Thunder regularly on MySpace, and now I have left them after a year, and will start writing my blogs here. I am 70, retired, living on Social Security, and have a lot of social network fans.
This entry was posted in Economics, Equality, Finance, Homelessness, Medicine, personal thoughts, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Social Security – is it in danger?

  1. The money you pay towards Social Security does not go into a personal account for when you retire. Instead, Social Security is a “pay as you go” program meaning the money that is collected now is used towards current payouts. So…current benefactors rely on the current work force to fund their payments. As baby boomers continue to retire at a record clip, approximately 10,000 on any given day, this model becomes harder to maintain. Back in 1950, there were 7.11 workers per retiree. That number today is 4.5 and in 30 years, economists estimate that number will be 2.6 workers for every retiree.

    • carolstepp says:

      Perhaps if Congress, especially the House, did more to bring more jobs to America, like for the infrastructure, and quit giving so much money away to the haves, there would be more people paying into the social security administration. I actually DO know how the Social Security Administration was set up to work, and if GWB and others before him had not borrowed so much from Social Security savings, there would not be so much worry about whether there will be money in the future. At the moment, it is fully funded until 2031, but it will need more people working and paying into their own social security, and I think jobs won’t become available until Democrats are once against in charge of the government. I have never liked a one-party Government, but until the teapartiers lose all their hold on even the good Republicans, things are not going to change so much. And lest you thing I did not deserve my social security, I put 47 years in the American workforce before being forcibly retired from my state job once I turned 62, and could not get hired by anyone because of ageism, I would not have started taking my social security before I turned 65. I don’t get anything I don’t deserve after my input for many years.

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