Social (IN)Security

I have gotten Social Security statements about every two years for approximately 8-10 years now. I am always amused by the untold thousands I will be drawing monthly when I reach a certain age. Honestly, from about age 33, I have been under the steady and sobering realization that the men and woman administering this fund have bankrupted it. It has been somewhat demoralizing at times to think about how many thousands of dollars I and others have been paying into this system, against our will, only to realize that I’ll never see a dime of it. Let’s see now, what exactly do I get for my generous contribution every pay period? I get to fund Medicare, SSI, SSD and Medicaid. Oh, and it probably also goes to TANF. That’s too many acronyms, lawmom, you gotta break it down. Okay. SSI is Supplemental Security Income (federal welfare, I like to call it). That’s the check that all the welfare moms are getting for their kids who can’t pay attention. Oh, and the adults that can’t pay attention too. Now to be fair, some kids and adults legitimately need to draw SSI, but this fund is WAYYYYY overused and abused. SSD is Social Security Disability. This is supposed to be the fund that you are only allowed to draw from if you have actually paid into it, after becoming disabled. I have heard many people talk about how the Social Security Administration made them go through three different appeals, then they got an award with BACK PAY. Of course, a year later, they are broke again, but what the hey. Medicare, of course, is medical help for older Americans (you’ve seen the commercials about all the Medicare supplements, I am sure). That means that Medicare is not enough to pay for anything. Medicaid is the fund that pays for medical care for most or all children in foster care, and medical care for adults and children who are on SSI or SSD. Medicaid also goes to help fund local and state health departments, along with state and local tax funds. TANF is Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. It’s been in place for about 13 years, I think. Nothing temporary about that, is there! It’s authorized under Titles IV-A and XVI of the Social Security Act. It’s the new name they gave AFDC when President Clinton was forced under a Republican-controlled Congress to enact Welfare Reform. It’s the food stamps, job retraining, and education stuff that people can get when they are down on their luck. It’s supposed to make people more self-sufficient and get them back on their feet.

What incentive do otherwise motivated people have if someone is going to hand them a check or voucher every month? People need to eat and emergencies do happen. But there have always been ways to get back on your feet that don’t involve asking the government to feed your family. The government fed me when I was younger, but I was ashamed of getting freebies and wanted to make it on my own. So I went to college, and I got a job. My family always worked, but there were a few months that we accepted food subsidies from USDA. Then we started making enough to get off those subsidies. Yeah, that was the olden days under a Republican president when it wasn’t easy, attractive or comfortable to “live off the government.” Nowadays, they give you a debit card to take to the store. I even know of a store that gives discounts to people with food stamps. So let’s see, they are buying groceries with my money and I’m buying groceries with my money and they get a discount because they’re using my money? What’s wrong with THIS picture?

I’ve gotten a little off-topic, as I sometimes do. I want a group of Americans to get into Congress and write some laws that fix this nonsense. Give me back the feeling that I might actually draw out some of the money I have put into the big pot of welfare gold I call Social Security. Meanwhile, I continue to fund my retirement, deferred comp and life insurance, because my family will need some money when I die. Personal responsibility–endangered species.

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