You ain't gonna like it

Congressmen, here is an answer to your question. You ain’t gonna like it.

Last week the majority and minority leaders of the House spoke about raising the age when folks can draw Social Security. To 70. They both spoke about restricting Social Security. Paying it out only to those lower income folks who need it.

They both said Social Security is broke. One asked “If you have substantial non-Social Security income while you’re retired, why are we paying you at a time when we’re broke?  We just need to be honest with people.”

Instead, how about we be honest with you two and your colleagues.

“Why are we paying you …?” Because that was the deal. Government said we will take many thousands from your pay. We will take many thousands from your employer. This money is to pay for income in your retirement. Deal.



Now you want to change the deal. After you have taken the money. Let insurance companies try to do this. You would grill and humiliate them and showboat for the cameras.

Breaking the deal you and your predecessors made with millions of folks is repugnant. And it is cowardly.

But, of course, you and your ilk have shown cowardice over the years. In your cowardice, you have bilked the workers of this country.

They did not bankrupt the Social Security system. You did. They did not beg you to keep fattening the payouts. You and politicians over the years fattened them. Hoping to gain their votes. They did not promise far more benefits than the money coming in could support. You did. You looked at the figures and you chose to be utterly irresponsible. You chose to be reckless. Again and again. You said “The money won’t be there. But let’s make the fat payouts anyway.”

And now, faced with your own recklessness, you choose the cowardly route again. You break the deal. You say to millions “Hey, you know all that money we took from you? You thought it was yours? Well, it’s ours. You know all those retirement checks we promised? We were just kidding.”

And you wonder why Americans have such a dim view of Congress?  You wonder why they place you politicians in the same category as child molesters?

Lately they have learned some politicians are sniffin’ around their private 401k plans. Prepared to ditch that deal too. By forcing us, in some way, to loan some of our 401k money to government.

They remember that idea floating around that we should privatize some of our Social Security. To give people some control over what they contribute. You killed that idea. Because you could not bear the thought of us taking our money out of your control.

You said at the time that stocks and bonds were too risky. Tooooo risky for folks to invest any Social Security money in. Instead, we should leave it under government control. Where it will be safer. Right. Safe for you politicians to seize it.

You can fix the system by reducing benefits across the board. To deny some folks, any folks, their Social Security is to go back on your word. If you go back on your word you reveal how little value you put in it.         

From Tom ... as in Morgan.                  

For more columns, for Tom’s radio shows and new TV show (and to write to Tom): tomasinmorgan.com.

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