In a recent article by a heretofore anonymous self-proclaimed director of the institute for Economic Education and an assistant professor of economics at East Texas Baptist University, Tyler Watts belittled social security. His credentials are lacking, and his proclamations are misrepresentative of the facts. The truth is that socials security is misunderstood and has been drastically mishandled by our government.
Mr. Watts spouts TEA Party values which are detrimental to the working class.
In 1935 President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the act which made social security a law. The first social security cards were issued in 1937; 20 million people initially received them. Employees and employers paid into the program. The collected funds would be placed into a separate federal account to be distributed to retirees. President Roosevelt favored the program because the working class and poor had no access to a retirement program.
Watts claims social security is not a sound financial program. In merely a single instance he is correct. Politicians have syphoned funds from the program for decades. ‘Pork belly’ programs have stolen funds from the investments of millions of working men and women throughout the nation.
Credible economists across the nation praise social security as a sound investment which contains virtually no economic input by the federal government. If theft by politicians did not exist, the original investment, with added interest, will continue to assist tens of millions of retirees in the golden years.
The only question that is relevant to individuals reaching retirement age is when to begin taking your benefits. Economists disagree whether beginning at 62 vs. 66 is financially sound. The truth is dependent upon individual situations.
A few years ago I was employed by the United States Census Bureau at the field office in Reno, Nevada. As the program was reaching an end, a few of us seniors were discussing social security during our lunch break. Calculating what the benefits would be if taken at 62 or at 66 produced interesting results. Using the life expectancy of 80 years of age as a random point, waiting to begin benefits at 66 resulted in a 100 dollar difference over a lifetime.
Other scenarios were researched. Not everyone is able to or wants to retire at 62 years of age. One possibility we considered was ending full time work and moving to a part time situation. The social security administration limits the income each individual can receive if they choose ‘early retirement.’ Calculations using a ten to twelve dollar an hour rate for workers revealed an interesting number. Most individuals would have more disposable income if they worked only three days a week and received social security at age 62.
Watts cannot claim he is a legitimate economist. His theory that social security is unsound and will eventually ‘implode’ is completely inaccurate. If politicians cease stealing money from the fund it is entirely sustainable.
Watts’ is obviously a supporter of the one-percent. They resent paying into the program for their corporation’s employees. Without social security tens of millions of Americans would either have no income at retirement age, or be forced to work until they died on the job.
By James Turnage