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A Severe Burden on Working Men and Women

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Essay title: A Severe Burden on Working Men and Women

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A Severe Burden on Working Men and Women

In the wake of the September eleventh attacks, America is faced with a long-term war against terrorism. The American people have embraced themselves for a war for an indefinite period of time against an unfamiliar enemy. America has become united and partisanship has been placed aside. Those issues that our political leaders grumbled about before the attacks are no longer on the forefront; however, in due time those issues will resurface and be dealt with by way of traditional partisan politics. Among those issues is the issue of Social Security. In more ways than we commonly realize, the current Social Security system is a harmful system that is not consistent with the customs and traditions of the American republic.

In 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt replaced Herbert Hoover for President of the United States. Roosevelt assumed the highest office in the land during a time when the American people were in dire need of leadership. The United States was in the midst of the Great Depression and flamboyant political leaders like Huey P. Long were trying to transform the face of America from a free enterprise republic to a kind of communist regime. Roosevelt had a different idea. His focus was to stay with the traditional practices of a free enterprise republic while creating government subsidized programs to benefit those citizens in need. These government programs were put into law by congress through Roosevelt’s New Deal legislation. Roosevelt’s New Deal consisted of many changes in American policy, of those changes the Social Security Act was signed into law. The Social Security Act created a federal old-age insurance system which provided a modest monthly payment for Americans aged sixty-five and older. It also provided for unemployment compensation as well as governmental support for the handicapped and for single mothers with dependent children. The Social Security Act initially was not intended to be a system of welfare; it was intended to function as a forced savings plan, forcing workers to pay into the system during their working years and receive modest payments in their retirement years. The Social Security Act began with noble intentions; however, through the years the Social Security Administration has converted into a huge bureaucratic welfare system where working men and women pay into the fund and can expect little to no return in their retirement years. President George W. Bush said, “The American people are better off

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hoarding their money in mattresses than paying Social Security, by hoarding they will get a better return on their investment.”

Proponents of social security insurance believe that in today’s complex society it is extremely difficult for families to “take care of their own” in hard times. Proponents believe that a government subsidy for those who are unable to provide for themselves is absolutely necessary for a society such as ours to function. The problem is today’s Social Security insurance serves the interests of those who aren’t working and burdens those men and women who spend the majority of their lives as working, middle-class Americans. Yes, an insurance to benefit those who are unable to take care of themselves is necessary in our complex society. However, our political leaders should consider the interests of the men and women who make up the working, middle-class; these are the people who most consider the backbone of the American free-enterprise system.

A publication from the Social Security Administration gives readers an overview of the basic facts of Social Security benefits. The benefits include survivor’s benefits, which are paid to a deceased worker’s family. According to the SSA, “The value of Social Security survivors benefits for a young, average wage earner who dies and leaves a spouse and two children is equivalent to a $374,000 life insurance policy.” The SSA goes on to say that this coverage pays the widow with two children monthly installments of $1,696 per month. For the SSA to compare their benefits to the private industry is absurd. Take me for example, I am a twenty-five-year-old male who is insured through 1st Colony Life with two hundred thousand dollars worth of life insurance. I pay two hundred and fifty dollars per year in premiums. This premium is guaranteed to remain at this rate for the next thirty years. On the other hand, I earn approximately $35,000 per year; I pay an average of $220 a month in Social Security taxes. That comes out to nearly $4,000 per year in “premiums.” How dare the Social Security Administration compare themselves to a life insurance company!

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