I made an offhand comment to a friend that there were many simple solutions to some of the problems that we Americans face. She challenged me to get specific. She’s right to challenge me. We should challenge our politicians for specifics. Put them on the spot. Make them answer. Be relentless.
Today, I am going to take a stab at Social Security. My parents have passed away, but during their years of retirement, Social Security helped them. They did not need much as they led simple lives. The first home I grew up in, they owned for 25 years. The second home they owned for 30+ years and paid off the mortgage. They had a dog, actually many dogs. They were married 51 years. They drank cheap wine bought in gallon bottles. They clipped coupons. They watched their weight. They had their ailments, but they did not complain too much. They smoked. They went to church and gave to charity. Upon retirement, they lived off of a small pension, an IRA and Social Security. Social Security played a role in their American dream.
So how do we fix Social Security so older Americans can benefit the way my parents benefited? I am not going to quote statistics as I don’t want to get in a battle of numbers. We all can agree that under the current system and in some years to come, the Social Security system will be paying more money out than it takes in. Simply put, money out will be greater than money in. Simply put again, Social Security is going broke. This is bad. This needs to be fixed. Ignoring it is irresponsible, for time alone will not fix this problem.
Our politicians must develop a solution and we must demand so. There are three components to the solution: 1) raise taxes 2) lower benefits 3) assist and create incentives for citizens to save for their own retirement. The ultimate solution will be a combination of these three components. I absolutely understand that the concept of raising taxes or lowering benefits or encouraging citizens to fend for themselves is controversial, emotionally charged and a political time bomb. It’s no wonder that the Republicans and Democrats can’t agree.
If the Democrats even make a whisper about fixing Social Security with some sort of a tax increase, the Republicans will attack full force. Likewise, if the Republicans even make a whisper about privatization of Social Security or lowering of benefits, the Democrats will attack full force. This deadlock has been in play since as early as the 1980’s. I say let’s stop this deadlock. I say let’s create a new a powerful voice that demands that both parties work out a solution that is acceptable to all. I say let’s create an American fix, not a Republican or Democrat fix, but an American fix.
Here is how we make this happen. We must get Democrats and Republicans in a room with a handful of experts to hash out a workable long term solution. Both parties must agree to vote for the solution. Both parties must refrain from using the solution as a way to attack the other party. The president must agree to sign the bill. This process is viable, if we add one ingredient that has never been available. That ingredient is millions of Americans voices demanding this.
My voice is one. 1 voice gives us a start. 1,000 voices will give us an indication that success is possible. 100,000 voices will give us momentum. 1,000,000 voices will give us the necessary visibility in the media. 10,000,000 voices will get the politicians’ attention. 100,000,000 will guarantee success. Don’t you think that 100,000,000 Americans want Social Security fixed? I do!
Join me in creating our strong voice that will finally force our politicians to fix Social Security. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your support or with reasons not to support or with your questions. Then send this blog posting to everyone you know so we can get more feedback.