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NB's The Nyle Magazine

Monday, October 08, 2012



Published September 24, 2011-Updated October 18, 2011

“Social Security (SS) has the Republican Presidential Candidates SOS”

by Nathan’ette Burdine-Follow on Twitter@nbnylemagazine

            The social security (ss) debate has the Republican presidential candidates stranded over seas (sos).  After Rick Perry said that social security is a “Ponzi Scheme” and should be absolved, he skyrocketed the social security debate and placed it at the forefront of the conversation.  This statement from Perry sent up several red flags within the most reliable voting bloc, the 50 and up, community the Republican and Democratic Parties depend upon.  Questions began mounting about if Perry was expressing the consensus within the Republican Party?  And if this is so, what will happen to the social security benefits for those who are receiving payments?  Perry failed to realize that the argument he put forth is counterproductive and keen to a “Ponzi” scheme because absolving social security, if he becomes president, will definitely result in individuals who’ve paid into the system not receiving the benefits.  And this is just what Perry explained about the “Ponzi” scheme, an individual pays into something and doesn’t receive anything in return.  After hearing this, it is only natural that people do a “What a minute?,” and question Perry and the Republican Party’s agenda.

Within politics, many know that seniors are the most reliable voting bloc and social security is among their top concern.  The other Republican presidential candidates know that by aligning themselves with Perry’s social security is a “Ponzi” scheme statement they will alienate the most trusted and dependable voters, the seniors, both political parties have.  The Republicans also know that social security is a key part of the economy because it focuses on the distribution of earnings resulting from labor.  Basically, the size of a person’s social security check will depend upon the type of work a person has performed over a duration of time.  Social Security is affected by the state a person lives in, the amount of taxes he pays, and the job he has.  So the social security debate takes into account all of the economic issues like taxes, type of job, and federal vs. state rights when governing the individual.  Unfortunately for the Republicans, Perry has placed an albatross noose around their necks by stating that social security is a “Ponzi” scheme and he would abolish it if he became president.  Perry is a big supporter of states' rights over the federal government's rights.  He believes social security amounts to government welfare and a suppression of the states' rights.  However, Perry fails to realize that social security transcends the class divide because it embodies a basic American principle, hard work leads to good returns. 

Social Security is a federally funded program individuals pay into and are eligible for benefits once they reach the age of 62.  This means that individuals who worked at factories or mines and managed to work hard enough in order to form a successful business are eligible for social security once they reach the age of 62.  Hence, a person could have worked hard during his younger years and became a wealthy man and still receive his social security once he becomes 62 years old.  An example of this is the Warren Buffet’s caliber.  Buffet is well beyond retirement age, but it doesn’t mean he cannot collect his social security.  So the image of social security going to the blue collar worker who has slaved at a auto factory is one that is not consistent with reality because social security is something that impacts individuals in the blue and white collar groups.

Mitt Romney, for instance, distanced himself from the comment by stating that the Republican presidential nominee must be an individual who is not for abolishing social security, and the Republican presidential nominee must have the presence of mind to understand that abolishing social security will not be for the benefit of anyone.  Rick Perry tried to explain away his statement with the old “For the kids” statement, but that didn’t curtail the criticism that followed.  The other candidates noted that social security should remain, but it just needs some changes in order to work properly.  Specifically, Herman Cain favors the Chilean model allowing citizens control over their finances, which many see as privatization.  Herman Cain offered a solution by stating that he would use the Chilean model and place the money directly into the individual’s account.  However, the idea of privatizing social security is something one Republican president, George W. Bush, considered but ultimately decided against.  Former President George W. Bush stated that one of the things he’s happy he didn’t do was to privatize social security.  This is understandable especially after the mortgage businesses sent big banks and investment firms like Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, and Lehman Brothers crashing.  Basically, if social security was privatized, it could’ve easily been wiped out.  Therefore, wiping out American workers hard earned earnings they made over the years.

Social Security is a federally funded program that transcends class.  It is something that embodies a basic American principle, hard work leads to good returns, and any efforts to abolish it can easily be viewed as un-American.  Many within the SS age, 62 and up, depend upon those funds.  And it is not just the GMC assemblyman depending upon his SS, but former GMC executives, university presidents, professors, doctors, and lawyers who’ve all reached the retirement age and are depending upon those returns.  In fact, a common joke about the University of Miami in Florida is that many of the older professors are retired and collecting two checks, a social security check and a paycheck from the university.  Something Perry doesn’t recognize is that if he became president and was able to abolish social security, then he would be stopping payments for those individuals who are receiving payments.  Therefore, he would be reducing social security to the very thing, a “Ponzi scheme,” he says it is now.







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