Off with their heads seems to be the standard cry these days, not only the Islamic Jihadist cry, but in Wisconsin, and in our tax payers as frustration over the duplicity of Washington grows. We, the tax payers, want the budget cut and we want the borrowing to stop. But that doesn’t seem to be happening. Little pin pricks in a too-fat-piggy-bank won’t get us anywhere. Perhaps that is because once the piggy-bank is finally broken there won’t be anything in it but a lot of hot air.
I just read an article by a young person commenting on how they think Social Security and Medicare needs to be cut. Its interesting that SSI and Medicare continue to come up on the targeting screen. I agree that it/they need to be looked at but there are some issues that I wonder if anyone every thinks of. Social Security and Medicare have become favorite whipping boys for Washington and the general public until someone shouts, “Don’t! That’s my momma and my poppa you’re talkin’ about!” But is it?
How many so-called “disabled” people do you know, much younger than 65 (the age for Social Security) or 62 – the early retirement age – that are on Social Security Disability? There are a heck of a lot of them out there. Once an individual goes on SSI they also get Medicare to help pay for their doctors and medicines that qualified them to be on SSI in the first place; and, since they are so young, that could go on ad nauseam. I wonder if we removed them or separated them from SSI and Medicare and then looked at those two items, what would be the reality of those expenditures. I think it would be quite interesting to do that but none of the talking heads or politicians seem to look at that issue.
Ask yourself, who do you personally know that is on SSI? How old are they? Do they have any plans for ever getting off of it? I know someone that has been on it for at least 20 years and that person is only 59. That adds up to a lot of money that shouldn’t be coming out of these accounts. Not only do they get a low monthly stipend but they also get Medicare.
I am not cruel enough to say those people don’t deserve help. But that money should be coming from another pocket and not Social Security or Medicare which you and I have paid into for a very long time and will continue doing so, believing it is going towards our retirement.
When you are calculating your household budget do you put your food costs in with your housing costs? Or your utilities in with your vehicle expenses? No, you don’t, yet they are all bills that need to be paid in order to sustain your lifestyle. Why would we tax payers want to lump them all into one account and not have a clear understanding of what comes out of that account. It’s a big issue.
Changes to Social Security and Medicare? Yes, definitely so. But stop and think. First things first. Separate out those on SSI who are too young to receive Social Security, call it something else and take it from another account. Secondly, begin to change America’s attitude toward aging and the elderly. Is today’s 65 too young to retire? In most cases, yes. Then gradually begin to extend retirement age to 70; BUT at the same time, change the attitudes of employers and younger hires. Honor the elderly and respect their knowledge and experience in the workplace. Don’t push them out because they are “old” or are getting too much pay because they have been there too long. Not every senior citizen can get a job at WalMart nor should they have to.
Consider this, they — the Senior Citizens — are the backbone of this country – they are the ones with knowledge and experience of true freedom, not the sloppy idea of freedom coming out of Washington today. Value them, learn from them and keep them on as real employees.
If we can do these things, then perhaps we can begin to see a few changes, or at least understand the whole picture and not just look at the target on the screen.