Social Security Explained

Social Security was never meant to be something to be relied upon for retirement funds. Passed in 1935 as a part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal program, it soon became entrenched within American politics.

The program was essentially a forced version of budgeting during the turmoil of the Great Depression. By law, the federal government required employees to give them a certain percentage of paychecks. After a while, this amount of money would accumulate into a fund that could be used by the employee. The fund was never intended to be a permanent fixation in the federal budget, but as people came to be dependent on it as a means for retirement funds, the more strained Social Security became.

Today, Social Security poses an incredible challenge to politicians and the Office of the Treasury. As the Baby Boomers, those born in the post-World War Two population spurt, age, the American population also ages on the average. This means that since a large portion of the American population is made up by the Baby Boomer generation, as it ages and retires, Social Security funding will be stretched to the breaking point.

Presently it is normal for Congresses to push a significant amount of tax payer money into the fund in order to sustain it, as Social Security is headed for bankruptcy. As more and more people from the Baby Boomer generation retire, they demand their money from the program. It is currently one of many entitlement programs that cannot be sustained.

There is a great debate on how to fix Social Security. One way would be to terminate the program, have the IRS and Congress return the funds to each taxpayer, and then rely on banks and employers to provide retirement funding. However, there are opponents of this plan, who believe that if Social Security were to be terminated altogether, they then will not have retirement funding. Those opponents should understand, though, that Social Security is only a type of forced budgeting, and if they were to budget a certain amount of their paychecks themselves and not leave it to the federal government the results would be the same.

People must have the responsibility to budget for their retirement themselves. Under this rubric, it would cut the middleman, the federal government, out of the equation. It would also free up funding so that Congress could spend taxpayer money elsewhere.

Social Security, while providing benefits to countless in America, is also a source of unsustainable debt.

Chris Buchheit

Chris Buchheit

Chris Buchheit was born under the hot Floridian sun during some year in the 1980s. There he studied school matters until moving to North Carolina in 1999. Possibly due to the fact that his mom had enough of him being inside all the time, he quickly got involved in community affairs via the Boy Scouts of America, where he learned the values of citizenship, morality, duty to God and country, and that the biggest kids get to boss around the smaller ones. Chris attained the rank of Eagle Scout in 2004, and still values the rank as one of his proudest achievements. Beginning in 2006, Chris began attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he quickly learned the value of basketball and poplar trees. Since attending UNC, Chris has been double majoring in Asian Studies, with a concentration in Chinese, and Political Science. When he isn’t slaving over his honors thesis, looking up a bunch of Chinese Characters, volunteering, or mindlessly browsing the same websites over and over, Chris enjoys writing short stories and novels. Much to his roommates’ annoyance, he also spends his free time learning to play the guitar. Above all else, though, Chris values God, his family, and his friends. For the future, Chris plans to apply to Georgetown to further his studies in Political Science, hopefully with a concentration on China. Pending acceptance into Georgetown, Chris would like to study while gaining professional experience in a government job in Washington DC.
Chris Buchheit

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