To The Daily Sun,
There is a real, simple and most positive means to provide Social Security reform.
First of all, Social Security was and still remains a user-tax program. Benefits are provided based on your contributions. This was never to be intended to be the entitlement program that it has become today. Benefits were provided based on the level of income combined with contributions.
The program was not designed to assist immigrants, criminals, freeloaders, etc. This is a non-prejudicial approach and common-sense way to fix the program as it is today. It must be repeated here, this was a payer-designed program. In other words, if you did not contribute to the program, you get no benefits. Period. Disability payments were added as other benefits were added later, but one always had to contribute to the system.
Yes, Social Security is under attack, but for the wrong reasons. Social Security is the bulwark of retirement financing for many senior citizens who worked hard all their lives to develop an additional, stable source of income upon retirement. These beneficiaries paid for these benefits. Social Security, placed on the right track, can supplement many people for many years.
Many immigrants come to this country, draw a Social Security number and then illegally draw benefits without contributing. Many of these immigrants are able-bodied and can contribute to the system which in turn could then enable them to be eligible for benefits. It is insulting to see fellow Americans try to claim benefits for which they did not pay for, and profit from this illegal means. In short, many beneficiaries are subsidizing these illegal distributions in the form of reduce retirement benefits and reduced medical benefits that they paid for.
It is also insulting that our own federal government raids these funds in the name of loans to provide extra funding for military and other ventures the government seeks to provide, even though those beneficiaries have not paid one penny for these benefits. George Bush raided our monies for wars we did not authorize. If we had those funds back, many of us would enjoy higher incomes.
This is not an entitlement program. Due to the overload of peoples obtaining benefits without paying in is the major cause for the financial crisis in Social Security. The solution is quite simple. Stop paying benefits to those who have not contributed — everyone. If these people come here expecting entitlements, then the federal government should have separate programs for these people, not take from our Social Security, that we paid for. The benefits would be markedly increased if we did not have these freeloaders in our system.
Secondly, prevent any federal government raiding of our funds. Get it somewhere else, this is our money, not the U.S. government, immigrants or any one else not contributing to the system.
One argument given once: These freeloaders come over here and have nothing. Unacceptable. Many of us worked hard. Immigrants of the past came here to work and be free, learn English as well as American life, including paying into Social Security. Through working hard as many of us try to do, they can earn those benefits just as we did. Anyone, regardless of religion, race, or creed, who can work, should do so to earn these benefits. This will make for a very stable benefit program for all. And, this will increase those benefits with continued contributions and ... make better benefits as we all get older.
Return Social Security to the people, the people who really make the system. Then Social Security will truly be the benefit program, as it was originally designed to be.
Robert T. Joseph, Jr.