Letters to the Editor

Social Security would work if not raided

I always get a chuckle when I see a letter like "Vote with brain, not for Demos" (Jan. 12). It covers a lot of ground and makes a lot of bold statements, most of them hogwash. I will respond to one: "In 40 years there will be a second bankrupt social program, just like Social Security."

Conservatives have always hated Social Security because it is the single most successful program in government history. And it certainly isn't bankrupt. From day one, the American worker has paid for his Social Security retirement benefits through a dedicated payroll tax. And thanks to President Reagan, who in 1983 with his program to save Social Security, increased these taxes high enough to build a surplus that would cover full benefits until at least 2042. That surplus now stands at $2 trillion and will be just under $4 trillion by 2018 when Social Security expenses began to exceed income.

The problem is, this surplus is gone, mostly used to reduce taxes on the rich. Now the conservatives are running scared that they may have to pay back some of their ill-gotten gains with increased taxes to pay off the treasury bonds held by American workers.