The truth about Social Security

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Social Security Act enacted in 1936 or 1937 created the Social Security Program which has been hugely successful and has amassed a tremendous surplus intended to pay ongoing and future benefits. However, this large surplus has attracted the attention of greedy congressmen, senators and previous presidents who have borrowed huge sums of money from the fund and gave worthless IOU's as collateral. This is actually stealing as there has not been any attempts to repay it. In banking circles, it's called embezzlement when money that is entrusted to another is stolen.

I have paid into this fund continually from 1937 to 1985, from 20 to 68 years old. At that time I started drawing Social Security checks and they have been very welcome.

My wife has worked as a corporate secretary and as a secretary in various state of Alaska agencies most of her life and now draws Social Security checks also. She's 85 years old, and I am 87, so we may not be drawing many more.

However, we do not want to see the system destroyed, which will probably happen under President Bush's ill-advised plan, taking part of the receipts and investing in the stock market. The only sure winners are the stock brokers. Diluting the receipts into the fund will gradually diminish its surplus.

But the Social Security fund isn't broke so why try to fix it?

The only problem is that the money stolen from the fund must be repaid. You may have noticed that not once has President Bush or any of the current congressmen mentioned this huge debt owed to the Social Security fund. The United States government has ample assets to cover this debt. Perhaps some of the lands set aside as parks or monuments could and should be sold to raise the cash to cover this debt.

It will be interesting to see if anyone has the courage to step and demand repayment of this debt before any damage is done to the Social Security program.

Clifford Berg

Juneau



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