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July 16, 2008

Social Security and war

Speaking about Social Security, John McCain says, the fact we are supporting present-day retirees with taxes paid by workers is “an absolute disgrace, and it’s got to be fixed” (7/10, A-2, “The Buzz”). This is a false argument by conservatives who blame social programs for the national debt.

Don’t senators ever read the Treasury reports on the deficits or the budgets they supposedly approve? For 2007, Social Security brought in $201 billion more than was spent, and there is a $2 trillion balance in the trust fund.

The problem is we have been spending the trust funds for hot and cold wars over the last quarter-century and are hemorrhaging red ink, as well as blood, in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Congress appropriated more than $800 billion this year for the Defense Department, not counting the half-dozen other agencies involved in war activities or the interest on our monumental war-incurred national debt. This situation has been exacerbated by tax cuts for other corporations, defense contractors, oil companies, and the wealthy.

Moreover, the Treasury has been pushing debt forward into the next fiscal year, and we don’t count military equipment and munitions as an expenditure.

Social Security doesn’t need fixing, war does.

G. Ross Stephens
Professor emeritus, political science and public administration, UMKC
Leawood

Comments

Engineer


Did this man really pitch this stuff to students? At a University to which I have made donations? Is he so uninformed or so bent to the left that he really thinks funds are "spent out of the trust fund"? There is nothing in the "trust fund” that can be spent, In actual fact it's just a record of how much Social Security income the government has spent on other things.

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

Social Security is nothing short of a Pnzi scheme. Why not have two options:

Voluntary Social Security for those inept in finance and investing.

Privatization for those of us that would prefer a return on our investments and have control of OUR earned money.

Sammy

King emeritus, Perhaps government wouldn't have the means to fund those wars if Social Security were fixed.

renfro

G. Ross Stephens, Professor emeritus UMKC, academics, politics and posturing? --- The only deterrent from Stephens socialist mantra to full-blown communism till now has been a willingness to defend our principals and way of life! Although valid, the path, lofty ideals and economic argument he proposes to avoid that responsibility are often misinterpreted as weakness for those who wish us dead.
In his simplistic solution --“Social Security doesn’t need fixing, war does” he blames the cost in blood and wars for social program ills that would not exist without those sacrifices. Younger generations will find such programs even more financially demanding in the future and the good professor’s political rationale questionable.
At their most vulnerable we sometimes place our youth in the care of those who undeservedly enjoy the public trust. Hopefully, few of Stephens’s students have been lulled into his “free Lunch” Shangri-La mentality!


Jim

But McCain says that Social Security is a "disgrace." He was also for privatization before he was against it (but he's really still for it).

McCain himself described his own policies best: "That's not change we can believe in" (insert creepy smile and half-hearted laugh here).

 
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