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Social Security
Letter to the Editor
Wednesday, July 6, 2011 • Posted July 6, 2011

Dear editors,

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has been circulating an editorial lately titled, “Act now to defend and save Social Security.” Her view is that Congress must not tax the wealthy to make up Social Security shortfall. Instead, she supports increasing the Social Security retirement age by 3 months each year and reducing the Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment by 1%. People who receive Social Security have not had a Cost of Living Adjustment in at least two years even though food and gas prices and most everything else have gone up considerably. There are now 412 billionaires in the United States. In addition, there are 40,000 millionaires with fortunes of $30 million or more. These statistics suggest that the extremely wealthy do not pay a lot of taxes and probably never did. Almost 20% of Americans live in poverty today (yearly income under $22,350). How can Senator Hutchison have the gall to suggest that Seniors are the ones who need to make up the shortfall instead of the wealthy? Since the average SS monthly payment is $1,177, most seniors who live on SS already live in dire poverty. Under present rules billionaires and multimillionaires pay Social Security tax on only $106,800 of their yearly income even if it is in the millions or billions. There are at least 40,412 obscenely rich Americans who should be paying a lot more into the system. Why doesn’t Sen Hutchison propose to increase that limit to at least a million. That would probably bring in enough SS funds to avoid having working class seniors wait until they have a foot in the grave before they can retire into poverty. What Kay Bailey doesn’t tell you is—the Social Security Trust Fund took in billions more than it paid out for decades. Instead of keeping that Social Security money in the “Trust” Fund, our government confiscated the money, put it in the general fund, and wasted it mainly on useless wars and bloated military budgets. Now there is nothing in the Fund except trillions of dollars in government IOUs. If this looks like a Ponzi scheme to you, it does to me as well. Bernie Madoff went to prison for a similar scheme. Governments don’t prosecute themselves for the crimes they commit. Kay Bailey Hutchison and her husband are multimillionaires. Sen Hutchison has never represented the working class. Instead she represents wealthy Wall Street bankers and Wall Street corporations who profit from the wars which are the real drain on Social Security and the economy. The United States military budget for 2011 is $708 billion. China’s military budget for 2011 is 95.5 billion. Does it make sense that the United States has to spend over 7 times what China spends? It has been revealed recently that the Middle East Wars will cost taxpayers between 3.7 and 4 trillion dollars. How much is a trillion dollars? A trillion dollars divided among the 300 million citizens of the United States would amount to $3,333 per person. Since only about 50% of U.S. citizens pay taxes, all who do pay taxes will have about a $26,000 share of the $4 trillion war debt. The U.S. total national debt surpassed $14 trillion this year. Each American who pays income tax has about a $93,000 share of that debt. When Kay Bailey Hutchison leaves office in 2012, I wonder if she will realize how much her support of wars for all her 18 years in the Senate has contributed to the bankruptcy of our country? But, then, why should she care? She won’t have to worry about Social Security going bankrupt because she will get a generous federal employee pension to go with the millions she already has.

Larry Payne, Castell

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