LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Policies creating blue wave of the future

Many Delawareans believe the Social Security Trust Fund has been raided. Congress has in fact borrowed against the surplus for many decades. A recent report by the Social Security trustees advised that full benefits are insured for the next 15 years.

Around 2034, cuts up to 25 percent will occur unless changes are made because expenditures are now outpacing collected revenue.

The fact is that from 1983 to 2010, Social Security collected more in FICA taxes from workers and their employers than benefits paid out to retirees. This surplus resulted in building up a trust fund of $2.8 billion by the end of 2015 that has been helping to pay the benefits of the retiring baby boomers. Half of their income comes from this benefit. (CBS MoneyWatch, Steve Vernon).

The $2.8 trillion in surpluses did not just sit in the piggy bank waiting to be divvied out to Social Security recipients from month to month without making any money. The trustees have been using surpluses to buy special government bonds for decades.

These special U.S. government bonds are “legally obligated” to pay the stated market rate of interest and repay the principal to bond investors, retirement fund planners and other institutional investors around the world.

The “proceeds” from the sale of these publicly traded bonds are often borrowed by Congress against the surpluses to pay for bills they have passed to be funded. The obvious potential problem is that too much money is being borrowed to fund bills that sometimes border on pork barrel projects. Social Security funding presently takes up 24 percent of the federal budget.

One of the ways to keep Social Security payouts solvent over the long run is to have the political will to compromise on containing total government spending and raising taxes.

A $13.2 trillion Social Security shortfall is projected between 2034 and 2092 that will cut payouts by 21 percent.

In Sean Williams’ article in the Motley Fool titled, “Trump immigration proposals could cost Social Security trillions,” he advises us, “that we are being fooled by these haphazard policies of the administration.” He points out that by halving immigration as currently proposed, $33 trillion would be reduced in Social Security contributions over the next decade.

In stark contrast, the 800,000 DACA children who came here as children should be given a pathway to citizenship since they have proven to be law abiding and contributing taxpayers. And Williams advises that if you doubled our immigration quotas instead of halving them, Social Security could become solvent through 2092 and onward.

Many Americans do not realize we have been living in a “quasi-socialistic” socioeconomic system side by side with our ever developing “corporatocracy.” The latter trend has resulted in mom and pop shops continuing to be shuttered.

Socialism by the way is taxpayer funds being used collectively to benefit society. A few examples are the military, police force, libraries, highways and public schools. Monolithic corporations, the recipients of huge tax cuts, continue to make record profits without the trickle-down prediction of bigger paychecks for the working man and woman whose wages have remained stagnant over the last three decades.

Recently, it was reported that the owner of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, now has a net worth of $161 billion. In contrast, most of his 561,000-member work force have been forced to apply for government food stamps to meet the cost of living.

The rich getting richer and the poor and middle class getting poorer is not a new phenomenon. Collective bargaining once again needs to be the blue wave of the future.

Bill Clemens

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