Country owed truth on financial liabilities

info@islandpacket.comDecember 10, 2012 

I read a Wall Street Journal editorial the other day and became very angry.

In 1994, a commission on entitlement and tax reform predicted that unless something was done to control runaway entitlement spending, Medicare and Social Security would eventually go bankrupt. Why? Because our disingenuous politicians refuse to present the true numbers.

The Social Security trust fund paid out more in benefits last year than it received in payroll taxes; ditto again for this year. However, President Barack Obama stated in his first debate "the Social Security system is fundamentally sound." He would have gotten an "F" in the economics courses I took in college.

The payroll tax that supports Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid has not been raised for more than 20 years. How long would a private insurance company stay in business if they went 20 years before raising their rates? The figures are staggering and unbelievable. The actual future liabilities of the federal government, including Social Security, Medicare and federal employees retirement benefits, already exceed $86 trillion.

It is unfathomable that we re-elected the same cast of characters that helped get us to the "cliff." We must demand that our government present to us an honest accounting of all the liabilities of our entitlement programs.

The country of the greatest generation, which defeated Germany and Japan and won the Cold War, the country that built up the greatest economy and survived the Great Depression now cannot balance its own budget. What are we leaving the next generation?

Lucian M. Dawson

Sun City Hilton Head

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