By Dan McGinnis | Yahoo! Contributor Network
COMMENTARY | Social Security is not an entitlement -- it is an obligation.
It infuriates me every time I hear someone in Washington refer to Social Security as one of the entitlement programs. When I look at my paycheck stub, I see a mandatory deduction for Social Security. I have no voice in the amount or how it is invested or what I will receive in return.
Every year around my birthday, the government sends me a statement in the mail with the estimate of how much I will get each year when I receive my Social Security checks. That is not an entitlement; the government has been taking my money since I got my first job at age 14.
Maybe one of the problems in the halls of Congress is that they need to draw some of that Social Security to understand the pains the American people have every single time we hear that they might adjust the retirement age a little higher, reduce benefits, suspend a cost-of-living adjustment or -- as they are currently threatening -- delay making the monthly payment to seniors.
Members of Congress do not participate in the Social Security program. They have their own pension plan for federal workers. How nice. But if Social Security is the mandatory safety net retirement benefit for Americans, then all Americans need to participate in it.
I doubt the Social Security trust fund would have been raided -- or placed in the dire condition it is today -- if members of Congress had to pay into the system as well. They are masters at protecting their own skins, so I've got to believe they would have insured the trust fund was in good condition all along.
Too late for that. Oh well, it was a good idea. Here's another one: force them to join the Social Security system today and I bet they'll have it fixed before the end of the year.
So, stop calling Social Security an entitlement. It is an obligation my country owes to every single senior citizen who has contributed throughout their lifetime to support the generation before them. It's their money and the government has no greater responsibility then to provide for those who have provided for it throughout their life.
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