Teacher's Ramblings

A potpourri of education, politics, family matters, and current events.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

On Social Security

I thought the SOTU address was very good and delivered better than I could have hoped for. Great writing and pacing, in spite of themselves the Democrats couldn't stay seated for more than a minute. On foreign affairs, well it's GW and I do believe the world and the Democrats and more importantly the American people are convinced, the man means what he says and has the ability to make his will felt.

Now onto the more difficult arena of domestic affairs. Social Security is the issue. At the above link is a very interesting discussion across generational lines. For the past thirty years I've basically thought that there has to be reform of this program, which has been costing those of us working a fortune during our lifetimes and has never paid out enough to make anyone's retirement adequate on its own.

It seems to me the crux of the problem is that every US citizen alive that has worked, has paid into it, thus is entitled to benefits. I've never come to a better conclusion than we should all be able to get back the money we were forced to pay in, with some minimum interest. Once that threshold has been reached, there should be a means test for whether or not additional payments should continue and at what rate.

Considering the cost of health care, a person that may not make the 'cut off' after their original contributions have been collected, might find that after X number of years, because of declining health, they would now qualify, and they should have that safety net. We cannot continue to burden the young worker to supplement so many increasing aged citizens who have the means to care for themselves. On the other hand, we cannot be callous to seniors that no longer have the ability to care for themselves.

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