12% of Nevada’s population is over sixty-five years of age, which translates to about 320,000 individuals. If current population trends continue we should expect about 17% of the Nevada population will be over 65 by 2015, and by 2030 the percentage may reach 25%. [AARP pdf] Yet, Nevada’s seniors may well be confused by Republican rhetoric about the necessity of “entitlement reform” to address the national debt.
First, let’s stop conflating “entitlement programs” with other social safety net programs, and federal support for programs like unemployment insurance benefits, TANF, SNAP, and housing. The GOP all too often dumps any government support for average Americans, young and old alike, into the Romney-esque “Gift” category. This is wrong because:
We are entitled to Social Security and Medicare because WE PAID payroll taxes for specifically for them.
Secondly, We aren’t entitled to TANF benefits — we have to qualify for them. We aren’t entitled to SNAP benefits — we have to qualify for them. We aren’t entitled to farm subsidies, energy subsidies, or milk subsidies. We aren’t entitled to student loans. We aren’t entitled to free government health care, we have to purchase individual health insurance policies or enroll in an employer’s health care plan with private insurance corporations.
Social Security is funded by payroll tax receipts and income from its trust fund investments. It is NOT bankrupt. It is not insolvent. It is not going broke because larger numbers of Americans are retiring. The baby-boomers have been factored into the calculations. [NCPSSM] Social Security should be off the table in the latest manufactured “debt crisis,” because the program adds NOT ONE RED CENT to the national debt.
Don’t believe me? How about listening to President Ronald Reagan?
h/t to Bold Progressives.
Third, let’s remember that the Republican agenda is now, and has been since the Roosevelt Administration, intent upon the privatization of Social Security. This. Needs. To. Stop.