February 14 2013

The Left is Neglecting Seniors at Risk for Poverty

Emily Wismer

 

It’s no secret that Social Security is broke and will be insolvent in a few short years. Yet reforming the program is never politically popular, and so Republicans have put all they’re political energy into making sure Medicare is available for future generations, while the Left fights any effort to ensure the elderly and poor are provided for.

This has come at a cost. According to Stephen Ohlemacher with the Associated Press:

Outgoing Social Security Commissioner Michael J. Astrue has some parting shots for Congress, the White House and advocates for seniors. They have all "really walked away from Social Security," he says, leaving the program "fraying because of inattention to its problems."

Astrue lamented that Social Security has been neglected and only used as a tool of “rhetoric” by leaders in Washington.

Samantha Wender with Yahoo Finance explains, that Social Security’s “bank account” will run out of money in 20 short years. According to the Ohlemacher, that will “leav[e] Social Security with only enough revenue to pay about 75 percent of benefits. Already the program is paying out more in benefits than it collects in payroll taxes.“

Today, 55 million people depend on Social Security for retirement income, yet the program may not be available for people in their 40’s in 50’s.

This matters especially for women, who are more dependent on Social Security to avoid poverty as they get older. The Social Security Administration explains that Women live longer, and thus are more dependent on the program in their old age. Today, women make up 56 percent of beneficiaries over 62 and 68 percent of beneficiaries over 85.

Could our nation’s biggest welfare program be improved to incorporate more free market ideals? Of course. But the Left refuses to recognize that our nation’s biggest safety net will not be there for future generations. And if it is, it will come at great costs to other taxpayer funded investments, like defense, infrastructure, and other safety nets.

Simply put, people in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s need to be able to plan in order to avoid poverty in their old age. The Left has neglected the elderly and is deceiving Americans by claiming they are doing so to help future Americans. An iceberg is headed towards our nation’s seniors, and the Left is pretending it does not exist.

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