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Comments about ‘Letter: Having a voice in politics becoming diminished’

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Published: Sunday, Dec. 9 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

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Pops
NORTH SALT LAKE, UT

The word "entitlement" is correct and appropriate in your case. You paid into the system your entire life and now you're entitled to the benefits that were promised. The meaning of the word has been distorted in the minds of many because of freeloaders. (It's also a shame that Congress spent all the money we paid into the system with no thought of how they were going to make good on the promises.)

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

While the sentiment of the letter is correct, the facts are inaccurate.

FDR, a Democrat, started the program.

LBJ, a Democrat, raided the program with his "unified budget" to pay for the Vietnam War and for his "Great Society"

Clinton, a Democrat, started taxing people on 50% of their Social Security "earnings". Al Gore cast the deciding vote in the Senate.

The Democrats never had an intention of using Social Security for its stated purpose. They used it to buy votes by taking "pork barrel" projects to their home districts and to their States.

There is no money to pay for the "borrowing" without doubling income tax rates on everyone.

Kenneth Lay, head of ENRON, will spend the rest of his life in prison for doing exactly what FDR, LBJ and Clinton did. How much prison time did they serve?

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Our voices are being diminished because of the Citizens United Ruling.

Joe Sixpack just can't compete with the Koch Brothers.

Of course, repubs wouldn't have it any other way as they haven't been too popular with the public for over a decade now.

Screwdriver
Casa Grande, AZ

That's a pretty one sided view of things Richards. What republican has had a surplus in the last 50 years? What republican congress has fixed the issue? None. They just want to take money out of my paycheck and prop up Wall Street with it. Now there's a ponzi scheme.

Gildas
LOGAN, UT

Yes, retired people, who flooded the government with their money for retirement, at unprecedented levels, their working lives, now are "flooding" the social security adminstration with the required applications to receive back their own with interest. That's how insurance works.

There are even additional applications nowadays as many older people find themselves without a job. They apply earlier by up to four years and receive much less back in consequence, and that reduced rate applies for the whole of the retirement period; they will never get a full pension. Retiring at the full retirment age, now 66, men will live on average another seven or eight years, women longer. Many people also do not live long enough to receive a social security check.

Congress has reduced the funding, the contributions, so they can pompously say they are paying out more than the get in. Why did they do that? The Social Security Administration has not applied cost of living increases of late sufficient to make up for the inflation brought about by their irresponsible, profligate spending, on foreign aid, warmongering and nation building. They have applied Social Security funds to new purposes not envisaged at the outset of the program.

J Thompson
SPRINGVILLE, UT

Screwdriver,

Is is "one sided"? Did you read the paper this week? Did you see that Obama is telling us about the tax "decrease" that the Republicans are blocking? Is there a tax "decrease"? When did that happen?

The Democrats play with words. They know that their constituents are ignorant, in most part, of the facts, so they tell the people what they want the people to hear - regardless of whether it is accurate.

We ARE entitled to receive a pension. We ARE entitled to be paid back for having been taxed all of our lives to the pension guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government.

They lied. FDR started the lie. Obama continues it.

Too many believe it blindly without studying history and without checking the facts.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Mike and J Thompson, you are completely wrong in your claims. It was Ronald Reagan and Alan Greenspan (the Greenspan tax commission) along with complicity from some members of Congress who first raided Social Security in 1985. The FICA contribution of each worker was increased in 1983 with the understanding that once a "surplus" was reached, the surplus would be invested in SS. But when the surplus materialized in 1985, Reagan latched on to it as a means of keeping his budget, which had been unbalanced by his tax cuts, balanced.

In 1990, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, a member of the Greenspan Commission, and one of the strongest advocates the 1983 legislation, became outraged when he learned that first Reagan, and then President George H.W. Bush used the surplus Social Security revenue to pay for other government programs instead of saving and investing it for the baby boomers.

The 1983 payroll tax hike has generated approximately $2.5 trillion in surplus Social Security revenue.

one old man
Ogden, UT

J T says: "Too many believe it blindly without studying history and without checking the facts."

Exactly. So may I respectfully ask JT, Mike Richards, and others why when it is so easy to check facts, they refuse to do so?

My earlier reply to their comments was found in a large number of reputable and reliable websites in just a couple of minutes. The facts are out there -- they need to be used.

The internet makes it very easy to spout nonsense, but it also makes it easy to find facts and then present truthful arguments.

J Thompson
SPRINGVILLE, UT

One Old Man,

Semantics. That's all that there is. Semantics.

There is no "surplus". The government owes Social Security almost $16 TRILLION dollars, depending on whose figures you use. Johnson raided Social Security in 1968. FDR started the SS ponzi scheme. Clinton robbed every American of the taxes that they now have to pay on 50% of their "pension", disregarding entirely the fact that many of US paid the entire amount ourselves and were not allowed to deduct those imposed taxes from our profits as businessmen.

Don't cherry pick history. Get out of Obama's camp while you can. He's holding America hostage while he has a tantrum. He told us that he would never raise taxes on the middle class, yet, right now, today, he is threatening to raise all of our taxes unless the Republicans bow down and worship him. The Supreme Court has already told us that Obama levied the largest tax increase in American history on the poor and the middle class, with Obamacare.

How many more lies from the Obama administration are you going to blindly believe?

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Folks,

Some of you need a bit of fact checking. The 1983 changes to SS were the result of a grand bargain between Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neil. The surpluses to come (and it was obvious they would) should have been invested in a sovereign wealth fund. Instead, they were dumped into the Treasury with Treasury issuing IOUs (we'll pay you back later . . .). Now, the IOUs are coming due.

What did we do with the surpluses? We gave you Republican tax breaks and Democratic spending programs. We funded wars. We did everything and anything other than save a dime for the future.

Who did this? Every president and congress since (and including) Reagan.

Blame them. Blame them all. But please make sure you blame your own stupid, dishonest party and not just the other stupid, dishonest party. Because they were both complicit.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "It was Ronald Reagan and Alan Greenspan . . . who first raided Social Security in 1985."

Everyone's entitled to his own opinion, but, not to his own facts.

FDR, creator and primary architect of this Democrat vote-buying scam, was the first to raid it. It was part of his plan, all along. He justified it, suggesting it was not good economics to leave all that money "just lying around."

The Social Security Act of 1935 created the "Old-Aged Reserve Account" within the Treasury, and provided that any of its funds not needed for current benefits were to be invested in federal debt. Minor 1940 changes, designed to blunt criticism that bloated government was embezzling contributions, leaving behind only an IOU, changed the name of the account, but little else.

Every federal politician since has been complicit in the raid on the "trust fund" [a disingenuous term first used by FDR to hide his embezzlement].

Since, by law, worker's contributions fund only current retiree benefits, Social Security is tax-funded welfare.

And a classic Ponzi scam.

Grover
Salt Lake City, UT

Procura: With views like yours, one can only hope that your are not employed in the financial services industry. Using words like "raiding " and "embezzling" are misleading and wrong. Putting "trust fund" in quotes leaves the impression that there is no fund. You use the standard "IOU" routine that questions the validity of the investments that are the substance of the fund. What other investment would you suggest instead of Federal Treasury Bills, Notes and Bonds?

I am sure that you have no need to be persuaded otherwise, but for others who wonder can check out SSA.gov and enter "common myths about Social Security" to read the other side of the story.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Procurafiscawhatever says: "Re: "It was Ronald Reagan and Alan Greenspan . . . who first raided Social Security in 1985."

Everyone's entitled to his own opinion, but, not to his own facts."

Agreed. So, Procura, when do you plan to start looking for facts to back up your opinions?

It's incredibly easy to find facts. Why not do it?

It's a shame DN won't allow links to be posted here. That way we could share facts when we find them.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Thank you, Twin Lights, for posting some facts.

It's a shame, but all the fact in the world will probably never change the thinking of those who choose to ignore the truth.

Ah, well. The GOP has to have someone out there who will support them.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "Procura: With views like yours . . . ."

My views are completely irrelevant to facts.

Fact is, the Social Security Act of 1935 DID create an account within the Treasury, and DID provide that it cover current obligations and "invest" the remainder in federal debt. Fact is, that didn't change in the cosmetic 1940 changes, which WERE designed to blunt widespread charges of embezzlement.

Fact is, contributions barely covered covered current obligations until Obama declared a partial tax amnesty, but since then, Social Security has had to be supplemented from the General Fund, even to cover current obligations.

Fact is, the money "borrowed" from the "trust fund" [there really is no Treasury fund denominated "Social Security Trust Fund -- it really WAS a disingenuous ruse used by FDR to blunt criticism] by a bloated, unsustainable federal government to buy off greedy Democrat constituencies no longer exists, and the "full faith and credit" of the federal government IS insufficient to cover the deficit. Future "account holders" WILL be stiffed.

So what's my view go to do with any of that?

Grover
Salt Lake City, UT

The Social Security fund has not had to be supplemented from the General Fund as Procura claims. The American Society of Actuaries (not a branch of the government) says: “Social Security is not running out of money now, and many options exist to maintain the long-term solvency of the program.” The quote is from the Washington Times the most right skewed publication around. If such an "esteemed publication" says Procura has his facts wrong, what source is he quoting or is he reading fortune cookies again?

Owen
Heber City, UT

To Mike (fact-checker) Richards: While he still may be in prison, Ken Lay died six years ago.

Grover
Salt Lake City, UT

Just like Mike Rs gaffe on Ken Lay (he never served one day in prison) the rest of his "facts" are bogus as well. The trust fund was never raided by LBJ. The tax on 50% of benefits was proposed by a commission appointed by President REAGAN (not Clinton) and headed by Alan Greenspan. It was passed by the Congress and signed into law in 1983. Tax on benefits of top earners was increased during the Clinton administration on top earners only. All of these FACTS are found on the Social Security website when you search "Internet myths about Social Security". This has been pointed out to Mike in numerous posts, but his tape recorder still keeps spitting out the same fairy tales time after time with no regard to the facts.

John C. C.
Payson, UT

According to the Prophet Isaiah (Chapter 10), God says the poor are entitled:

"1 Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed;

"2 To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!"

Yet some oppose taxing the rich at the same rate as the rest of us. They claim that the rich are entitled, that what they have done is not white-collar crime, that they have not oppressed the worker in his wages, that the poor deserve punishment for being lazy, and that the 99% should be grateful for the crumbs that fall off of the tables of the 1%.

Clydesdale
Tooele, UT

Grover, let me get this straight. You want us to go to the governments own website to read about how wonderful social security is. LOL No bias there is there. LOL And the post office is working wonders too I suppose. Just ask them. ha ha

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