Letter to Editor: Don’t call it a trust fund

To the Editor:

Rather than run for Congress myself, I have decided to offer Sens. Collins and King some advice for addressing the Social Security and Medicare crises that have been allowed to overtake the country like an untreated cancer.

Social Security and Medicare were designed as, and still are, pay-as-you-go systems. The withholding taxes paid by both employers and employees for years exceeded the amount paid out to recipients.

So what to do with these excess taxes? Rather than adjust taxes down to match outlays, Congress decided to create these “trust funds” in order to spend this ill-gotten revenue stream. This sleight of hand worked great until the systems started paying out more than they were taking in and now we are dipping into these “trust funds” but there is nothing in them except hot air.

The other casualty in this example of poor leadership is most Americans believe the money they paid in during their working years was going into some kind of account for them.

The only honest way to get out of this downward spiral is to write off these trust funds as a bank would a bad loan, get rid of the highly paid federal employees who manage these dishonest hallucinations, apologize to the American people and never speak the words “trust fund” again.

If this is done, payroll taxes on both employers and employees would have to increase to pay current recipients. This will, of course, put some re-election bids in jeopardy but would force Congress to face the problem and make timely, tough, but necessary decisions to keep systems balanced. Being completely honest might be a plus for a politician.

Richard Ginn

Bucksport and Florida

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