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Letter: Social Security is not an undeserved ‘entitlement’

I just finished reading my Sunday Buffalo News Viewpoints and my heart rate has exploded. Specifically, I’m fed up with the notion that Social Security is an entitlement that’s bankrupting our country. What a crock!

I’ve been paying into this

insurance program for 50-plus years. That is, every week, there has been a FICA withholding from my paycheck. The Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) is the federal law that requires you to pay two separate taxes from your wages. FICA is comprised of a 6.2 percent Social Security tax and a 1.45 percent Medicare tax.

President Roosevelt on Aug. 14, 1935, created a social insurance program designed to pay retired workers age 65 or older a continuing income after retirement. His intent was pretty clear. This money was to be used for retirement income and health insurance (Medicare) only. Instead, it has morphed into a huge piggy bank for Congress and is now labeled as an entitlement.

Our elected leaders have raided this fund for years, leaving it in financial distress. Now we have some Republicans, namely Mitch McConnell, suggesting cuts to our insurance programs. I have a better solution; how about repealing the massive tax cuts to the very wealthy?

If this is going to be classified as an entitlement, then I mistakenly have deposited money into this account for more than 50 years. I am demanding my money be returned to me. Using an average of 8 percent interest over 50 years, reinvested, the fed owes me a little over a million dollars.

In a few weeks, we go to the polls to elect our next slate of leaders. I would suggest that any politician that mouths the words “Social Security and Medicare - entitlements” in the same sentence, be sent packing. Enough.

Tom Destino


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