First off: Social Security and Medicare receipts and expenses are not part of the federal budget. They do not contribute to the federal deficit. They are collected from employers and employees as part of the payroll process and deposited in separate accounts that are not part of the federal general funds. Benefits are paid from these segregated funds.
Are these funds in some trouble? Yes they are. Everyone knows it and everyone talks about doing something about it…but nothing has been done. What they need is an influx of cash and there a number of ways to do that.
Now for the past decade or so, the Republicans have tried to put a negative spin on these programs as entitlements. Hmmmm. I don’t know why they think this is a pejorative or a negative connotation. But they have been selling entitlement as exactly that…a negative program. But these are entitlements! Why? Because you and I have contributed to these programs all of our working lives…and we are entitled to them in retirement.
But Ron Johnson wants to spoil all of that and remove Social Security (and Medicare) from their mandatory requirements and actually move them to the discretionary spending realm. That would mean that during every budget cycle (and as I’ve said SS and Medicare are not part of the budget), any political group in power would have the ability to cut, stifle, revamp, or rework these programs at will. ANNUALLY! One thing that American don’t need is any uncertainty around their retirement income. And given Johnson’s proclivity as someone who has little concern or regard for the common American, you can be sure any intervention into Social Security coming from his fevered mind wouldn’t be for the good of the program.
But, Sen. Johnson says he wants to ‘save’ Social Security. I would suggest looking at his history and not his pronouncement. He’s done nothing to protect your retirement in the past 12 years…why would he start now?