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Published: April 7, 2006, as a Letter to the Editor in the Keiser (Oregon) Times.
To the Editor:
Can you believe our senators? For the first time since Social Security was enacted, they went on record with whether they believed that Social Security funds should be reserved for Social Security.
A few weeks ago 53 senators voted to continue to raid the Social Security fund – to spend our tax dollars on things OTHER than Social Security. As Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) put it, "53 senators turned their backs on America's seniors. There is simply no way to save Social Security if we don't have the courage stop using the surplus as a secret slush fund. DeMint co-sponsored the bill voted on with Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho).
Congress has a bad habit of spending our money; since 1985 Congress has taken more than $1.7 trillion from Social Security. That's the entire surplus. This harms America's seniors, who are relying on this money for their retirement, and young Americans who will be working to pay off Congress' trillion-dollar loan to itself. Frankly, this torques my wrench. And it should for YOU too!
The DeMint-Crapo bill would have put the security back in Social Security. Voting against the bill was voting to mortgage the future of millions of young Americans. Sadly, eight Republicans, including Sen. Smith, from the so-called party of fiscal responsibility voted with the Democrats and against the bill.
The bill failed, but reformers were only four votes shy of ending the raid. Forty-six senators stood against the status quo – they stood up for accountability and fiscal responsibility. These are exactly the kind of leaders that Congress will need to address the fundamental problems of Social Security.
The problems with our Social Security system are not going away and will not fix themselves. Why are we allowing Congress to do NOTHING about this? We know there is a problem and our leaders are supposed to make prudent, fair and responsible decisions. We must demand that Congress begin to fix this problem, rather than turn their back and force it on future generations.