“I think there’s a comprehension gap,” said Kerry. His point: While people may not be feeling the benefits of the bailouts and healthcare reform yet, Congress has been working with Obama to right the economic ship. Still, he sounded sympathetic to those kicked around by the economy. “There’s a sense of some things unraveling” to them, said Kerry.
But he said that the D.C.-directed attacks are hypocritical, since many of those attacking Washington spending presumably want to keep their Social Security and Medicare and want Washington to play a big role in the Gulf Oil cleanup. “There’s a huge contradiction on a daily basis,” he said.
You’re darned right people expect to keep their Social Security and Medicare, you empty suit. Those aren’t handouts – they’re entitlement programs into which all working Americans are forced to contribute.
I’ve paid into Social Security and Medicare since I got my first job at 16. My paycheck stub specifically lists the money the government takes out of my paycheck – one line for income tax, a separate line for 6.5% Social Security tax, and another line for a 1.5% Medicare and Medicaid tax. Employers also contribute the same amounts behind the scenes. When I was self-employed I paid both sides, which today would total 15-16%.
Every year Americans receive a statement from Social Security estimating their monthly retirement benefit based on their current income and contribution. So yes, people sure do expect to get that money. That was the deal now – pay into the system your entire working life, receive the benefits after retirement.
Of course, the government being the government, the system was badly designed. The country is facing epic shortfalls in its retirement programs. There are too many retirees, not enough workers paying into the system, and the government took the surplus from the good years and spent it. Most people don’t realize it, but the shortfall in funding for Social Security and Medicare is now many times larger than and more of a threat than the national debt, which recently topped 13 trillion dollars.
But, hey, I’ll make a deal with John Kerry, the Moron from Massachusetts. The government won’t have to pay me Social Security and Medicare if it will stop taking the money out of my checks and refund the money I’ve already contributed. Deal?