The United States has long been saddled by this nearly $800-billion-a-year monster, and it has only become more monstrous in recent years.
But here’s what we don’t get: Why would President Barrack Obama, who campaigned twice under promises not to mess with Social Security benefits for our senior citizens, seek to do just that?
The government made a promise to its senior citizens. These patriots have paid into the system with decades of hard work and lots of pennies, dimes and Ben Franklins from their paychecks for all of those years. In return, they were promised a small safety net to help pad their retirement years. For some, their once-a-month check is their only source of income.
The reality is that the pyramid scheme concocted in the 1930s will only go so far once people stop paying into it. Our government leaders now see its flaws, but most don’t want to touch it for fear of aggravating the voters — many of whom are senior citizens, or soon will be.
We agree something must be done, just as something must be done about the billions spent in international aid, or the trillions spent on a seemingly endless war. What we don’t agree with is the chained consumer price index scheme that Obama’s team has cooked up. It smells downright rotten.
We owe it to our seniors to see them through retirement with the promises that were made to them years ago. We also owe it to the younger crowd that has paid a little bit into Social Security with some sort of compensation for the money they’ve invested into a system that likely will not be there when they retire. And we need to talk about the eventual phase-out of Social Security.
It needs to be fair. Being fair does not include bilking seniors out of their piggy banks. That’s exactly what the chained CPI proposal under Obama would do.
That roughly $1,000 might not mean much to someone on Capitol Hill who makes a bundle by swindling the poor and seniors out of their benefits, but it sure does mean a whole lot to seniors trying to pay their heat, food and medical bills.
Pony up the money promised, and figure out a better path forward. Because, cowboy, this ain’t it.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.