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Letter to the Editor

BY DI READERS | JUNE 08, 2012 6:30 AM

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Protect Social Security promise

When it comes to Social Security, the Democratic Party supports the promise made when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act on Aug. 14, 1935. That promise is that people in society would contribute to Social Security to fund a benefit to help retirees as they become unable to work.

Republicans would change the promise of Social Security if they could enact the Paul Ryan budget, as 2nd District Congressional candidate John Archer said he would if elected. Why is this important?

The Ryan plan would create social conflict. Current benefits for those 55 years and older would continue as they are, creating a division between young and old in society. That is a mean-spirited political calculation. Instead of being a social program, the plan would be converted to one of property rights, similar to the Thrift Savings Plan available to federal employees. Up to a third of Social Security taxes could be invested by the contributor into a personal retirement account.

The funds in the accounts could be passed on to heirs. This would effectively nullify the commitment from society to prevent our elders from living in poverty and move society to answering the question "What's in it for me?" instead of "What's in it for us?"

Finally, the Ryan plan claims to make Social Security permanently solvent. The trouble is that removing the protections for our senior citizens would create a permanent class of impoverished elders, with a social and financial cost that would be transferred to other parts of society that are ill-equipped to handle it.

What can a person do about this? Vote Democratic on Nov. 6.

Paul Deaton
Solon


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