- Published on Thursday, 16 August 2012 22:36
- Written by Super User
By CHARLIE ALLO
It’s normal for an individual to want some security; even if it’s understood that one’s life cannot be completely secure. The government ostensibly established the Social Security system to function as a limited safety net for citizens in later life; it was not intended to function as a system that would take care of all the basic needs of an individual, only as an additional supplemental income. The impression was that the money being contributed by the employer and employee would be deposited in a trust fund, locked box, for the participants in the program. The program was supposed to be of assistance to those individuals that had problems managing their money.
The program has grown over the decades and the payments are now exceeded the revenues collected; to add to this problem, the money received has been treated as though it was fungible. The revenue received has been applied to other budgetary items, and IOU’s were deposited in the trust fund for the Social Security system. This practice of considering revenues that should have gone into a specific trust fund are being utilized as fungible assets for a number of budgetary accounts needs to be discontinued.
There has been a lot of rhetoric about one party or another destroying the Social Security system; in truth, all the programs that were designed to act as safety nets for our citizens are facing serious problems that our elected representatives are unwilling to address. The inability or lack of willingness to deal with these problems will have an impact on all individuals that are relying on these programs. In the meantime the money that was supposed to go into programs that were designed as safety nets has been diverted to other government programs; these programs are going to place a strain on the nation’s economy. The practices that the government has employed are going to lead to, at least, one of three outcomes: greater taxation, loss of safety net benefits, or reduction of other government programs and jobs.
Any politician that suggests that the safety net systems are in fine shape is lying; they are going to need some major adjustments, and that will mean there will be some loss of coverage by these systems.
It would behoove all citizens to make budgetary adjustments that will lead to self protection; clearly, the government cannot be counted on to provide the emergency safety net that many have been paying into for years.
The nation’s educational system has fallen down on preparing citizens to manage their finances to cope with emergencies they are likely to encounter throughout their lives.
One cannot account for all the potential problems in life, but a person should make some realistic adjustments to address some of the common foreseeable emergencies.
The populace appears to be more inclined to put their trust in the government to cover eventual emergencies; if the electorate paid more attention to the actions of their elected representatives they would see that most of their actions are designed to ensure a reelection.
This is accomplished by granting various groups their desires, but there is little consideration given to the financial cost or the unintended consequences of their actions. It is illogical to think that the most cost effective system for managing these safety net programs is through the governments’ bureaucratic maze; this is where a good part of the money assigned to a program gets eaten up, and any money that remains is often redirected to some other project that has nothing to do with the safety net. Teaching the populace basic financial coping skills should be an essential requirement in our educational system, but the individual should continually strive to hone this important coping skill.
The only problem with the government initiating a sound program of this type is that it would tend to put the individual in charge of his/her destiny.