One of the greatest pieces of humanitarianism and highly compassionate work accomplished by the United States Congress, was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt 78 years ago. The Social Security Act of 1935 has made it possible for millions of Americans to live retirement years in much better shape than would have been possible without it, while continuing to be a contributing part of the economy.
The Social Security system has paid millions of recipients billions of dollars since 1935. For example, in 1937, 53,236 Social Security recipients received checks amounting to a total of $1,278,000. Not bad, but, let's move ahead a few years to 2008, when 50,898,244 Social Security recipients received $615,344,000,000. That's just for one year.
This ever growing amount bothers some people. Especially, a few politicians who are trying to put a limit on or halt the program entirely, or find other, private, ways to finance retirement years. However, has anyone stopped to think about the good that money does in the overall economy of the United States of America? It really doesn't cost taxpayers in the long run, and, for sure, doesn't deplete the government treasury, unless you take the negative view, without looking at the big picture.
Social Security is estimated to keep roughly 40 percent of all Americans age 65 or older out of poverty. That means, retired men and women can pay their bills, because, those bills don't stop coming, once a person enters retirement. Paying those bills, puts the funds to work, employing other people, who in turn pay their bills and taxes, and increase management bonus checks and stockholder dividends, which means, everyone has a better life because of the Social Security program.
Most Social Security recipients worked very hard to get to their retirement years, contributing to Social Security and paying other taxes to support the government and government programs that benefit other U.S. residents, along the way. The country's Social Security checks make it possible for those who receive them to spend those funds, and, that helps keep the country rolling along.
Spending the money received through the Social Security program, continues circulating money in the country's economic cycle, through the purchase of groceries, payment of utility bills, occasionally eating out, making payments on medical bills (which Medicare doesn't fully pay for), and Part B insurance premiums, and so on.
The money spent by Social Security recipients helps employ workers at all of those professions, and many others, all of whom pay taxes, contribute to the Social Security and Medicare programs, and, who themselves, spend money at stores, restaurants, utilities, medical facilities, gas stations, etc., which in turn, makes it possible to employ people at those places of business.
In addition, upper management, owners and stockholders, make better incomes to spend, because of larger profits, which they might not be sharing in, if it wasn't for Social Security recipients having the money to buy and pay for things as customers, clients and patients at their establishments.
Social Security not only makes the lives of Social Security recipients better, it makes the lives of everyone else in the U.S. economy better, too. So, is the Social Security program, which started way back in 1935, really something the country can't afford to continue, or is it necessary to the overall continued health of the economy? I think the latter is true.
What kind of an economy would be left, if the program was gutted, lessened, or even taken away as a government program, entirely? It seems, if those billions of dollars spent by Social Security recipients every year were taken away, entirely, or made smaller, the hole left in the economy would be drastic.
Lay offs and unemployment would be rampant without Social Security dollars circulated through the economy, having a rippling effect that would leave men, women and children wondering where their next meal was coming from. Doesn't sound like the world most of us want to live in, does it?
Now, if only lawmakers were fighting over how to make the Social Security "benefit" checks keep up with actual increases in the real cost of living, instead of talking about ending the program, or, drastically changing it. Now, that would be worth talking about.
GARY W. MORGAN
Morbizco Media Group