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The Social Security Act was signed into law in the 1930s by President Roosevelt as a system to invest in American workers so that when we reach a certain age, we will have a nest egg to provide passive income so we can enjoy our retirement without having to maintain employment. Social Security is funded through a tax on our income, the Social Security Tax. If you are an employee you pay 6.2% of your income to this fund, if you are self-employed you match the employer's contribution and pay 12.4%.

Currently, the tax is put into a trust fund that is predicted to be depleted by 2033, which in turn we only have tax as a method to pay beneficiaries rather than interest gained in a solvent account. This means that by 2033 our benefits are expected to be worth up to 25% less than what they are today. There are a few problems with this outcome that will happen in less than 10 years.

It seems like only three ideas are being discussed to ensure the trust isn’t depleted. Raise our taxes to increase the flow of income into the fund, raise the retirement age from 67 to 70, or raise the wage base limit so higher earners can pay more into the fund. The latter is also a measure of raising tax, without a percentage increase it still raises the amount you can be liable to the government.

Providing stability to our seniors is of utmost importance and should be a priority for our elected officials. However, neither party has made any progress to ensure proper benefits will be a reliable source of income for retirees. One reason we are here is because during the post-war era of the 1940s our country had an influx of children referred to as the Baby Boomers. This population is expected to consist of 70 million people by 2030, which increases the need for benefits and decreases the amount of taxable income available to sustain this program. But it isn’t only an increase of retired-age Americans, over time our government has borrowed money from our promise of a stable future to fund unpopular and often un-supported efforts such as war. I’m not saying conflict can always be avoided but if you must take from a program as fragile as Social Security you need to have a plan to pay it back…or else we find ourselves looking at dire choices that don’t favor our elderly in less than a decade. Our country also faces a population decline because fewer people are starting families and having children. Without people reliably paying their share into this program it will continually shrink and deplete.

So what does our government do about this, what can we as concerned and taxed citizens do about this? It seems as though the government has made promises it once again cannot keep. We have waited far too long to address the looming issues with our Social Security benefits. Should we continue to elect Representatives that will only delay the inevitable and then force our citizens to pay the price for their procrastination?

My answer is clearly NO, we must elect citizen servants who are willing to take action now and protect our citizens who rely on these benefits. As your Representative, I will make Social Security benefits one of my top issues that I will relentlessly fight to preserve without placing the burden on us who already pay too much tax. There are better answers available such as cutting erroneous spending on things that don’t benefit Americans. I promise you as your Representative I will not stop fighting for your rights and your benefits. We cannot, we will not allow these critical benefits to be cut nor will we allow more tax to be collected to make up for inaction.

Tarazon 4 NC
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