Thursday, October 06, 2005

Saving social security

This I believe!

The working class people of America has paid into the Social Security System and are entitled to full benefits regardless of their birthdate.

President Bush sees a crisis looming and wants to overhaul the social security system. However, his plan is serious flawed. We cannot stand by and allow him to cannabalized this critical retirement system!

American workers were forced to participate in the Social Security System. We were not given a choice. We paid or we were not allowed to work. In return for pur participation we were told we would receive retirement and death benefits. This was a sacred promise from our government and we have every right to expect to see it fulfilled.

Not all Americans share in paying social security (FICA) taxes equally. Those with high incomes only pay tax on a portion of their earnings while the majority pay tax on all of their income. This tax ceiling converts FICA into a regressive tax.

What happened to the money in the lock-box? The funds received as FICA taxes were placed into the general fund rather than being invested. This means the government has been spending our retirement money all along. What's in the lock-box? IOUs. If George Walker Bush has his way they will be worthless IOUs.

The first thing we must realize is that the crisis is exagerated. Remember, "liars lie but big liars use statistics." The federal government has raised statistically lying to a real art. All of the experts disagree on when the social security system will stop taking in more money each year than it pays out. But, there are still all those IOUs and the compounded interest on the IOUs. That will out off the crisis for awhile.

George Walker Bush wants to decrease the amount to be paid to some of us based upon the year of our birth. I thought "all men [were] created equal" but now my birthday makes me less equal than my older brother. His plan violates the very foundation of the Constitution of the United States and cannot be tolerated.

Bush also wants to privatize the social security retirement accounts of younger workers. There is a major flaw in his privitization plan. Barbers know how to cut hair. Teachers can teach. Bakers can make wonderful bread. But the common people are not investment experts. They will fall prey to professional investment brokers who will reinvest retirement funds simply to receive additional commissions. Privatization may sound good but its reality will leave many with empty pockets in their golden years.

It is only fair to require the wealthy to share the wealth created by the American worker. What I suggest is to turn back the Bush policies of letting the rich off the taxation hook. I would remove the FICA tax ceiling immediately thereby increasing the annual FICA receipts. Next, I would require all FICA funds to be invested under the direction of the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank. Then I would require the federal government to pay back all of the IOUs with compounded interest within ten years. This would result in solvency for quite some time.

Please write your representatives and express your concerns about the social security system. It's the only way they will know they can't have our cake and eat it too!

Copyright 2005 by Mark Leon Winegar

Wednesday, October 05, 2005






©2005 Mark Winegar

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Why do you weep, Lady Liberty?

Why do you weep, Lady Liberty?

Why do you hide from my eyes?

We can still walk this land freely

though some deny us our rights.

Stand tall and face adversity.

Don’t let them back you down.

Speak loudly for the love of freedom

and always stand your ground.

Talk plainly to your neighbors.

Sing sweetly to your guests.

Speak loudly against the folly of war.

Show everyone you’re still the best.

I wrote this poem before George Walker Bush's invasion of Iraq. It was a time when the President of the United States was moving his aim away from Al Qaida and toward Iraq. The administration's campaign of fear was being thrusted upon the American people. The Patriot Act was being touted as the savior of democracy. The heady wine of neo-conservative facist nationalism had intoxicated the population. Those who had eyes to see were blinded by their tears. It was the saddest time for the nation I had ever experienced. This poem came out of that despair.

Copyright 2003 by Mark Leon Winegar

First published in the Indie Journal