Does Our Social Security System Make Sense?
Insurance, Relief, or What?
The true nature of Social Security in our country is almost unknown to the taxpayers who maintain and rely on it. After twenty years, “Social Security” is in the language, but these words connote its purpose and assumed benefits rather than the vast politico-economic complex depended upon to realize them. The aims of Social Security are admirable. Most of the results evident to date are good. So, by association, these virtues are imputed to the system itself.
Both Democrats and Republicans extol this sacred cow for the milk it gives, but they do not audit its feed bill or mention the possibility of its going dry. Politicians in both parties trade on colossal outlays for today and munificent promises for tomorrow. Can the promises possibly be honored? What will they really cost? And who, really, is going to pay for them in the long run? These very relevant political considerations languish for want of attention. But they do not die; they only bide their time.
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