House Minority leader John Boehner, R-Ohio sounds like a liberal Democrat when he talks about some changes he would make in the Social Security program. In a recent interview in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review he said that he would favor raising the retirement age to 70 for people who have 20 years before retirement. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md said the same thing in a speech in June.
Then, sounding like a socialist, Mr. Boehner would not pay anything to people who “have substantial non social security income”. So if you paid into the plan after 45 years you would get nothing- your money would go to someone else. “Why are we paying you at a time when we’re broke” he explained.
What he didn’t explain was the reason we are broke. It’s because of the wasteful spending programs politicians like Boehner have put into law- to buy votes with government handouts.
The answer is not to punish older Americans- the answer is to cut Federal spending across the board.
If Boehner was the Vice-president he might say to me, “OK wiseass, you said across the board- that means everything, even Social Security. How are you gonna do that?”
Well I went to a local Social Security office a little while ago. After waiting 45 minutes I was told I had to make an appointment, or wait about two hours to speak to a representative. After making the appointment I asked the person behind the glass wall why there were so many young people in the waiting room (about half of the 40 people waiting). He explained they were there for disability payments.
Doing a little checking I discovered that almost one third of all Social Security payments do not go to the elderly but to young people claiming some kind of disability. They collect under SSI or Social Security Disability. Is that fair? Wasn’t Social security created for the elderly?
I recalled a 60 minute show that talked about a school in Texas where over a quarter of the kids were receiving SSI payments. It seemed their parents told them to act up in school so they would be declared mentally disabled, thus enabling the parents to collect up to $1,000 a month for each child.
Recently I played golf and found out two of the foursome, who were 20 years younger than I, were receiving SS Disability payments. Well they sure didn’t play like they had any injuries!
Perhaps Mr. Boehner just had a bad day. The only good that came out of this is the fact that political leaders are slowly getting the message that they have got to reduce spending.
One way to do that is to eliminate entire Federal Departments. For example, we started the Department of Energy 25 years ago to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. A complete waste!
We created a Department of Education to raise test scores for our kids. What happened? Nothing, the inner city schools are still not able to provide the kids with a decent education.
Americans, especially older Americans deserve to be treated with the dignity they deserve- they earned it. Representatives Boehner and Hoyer should have the courage to make tough decisions finding ways to cut spending- but they shouldn’t do it on the backs of our older citizens.