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Gerontology And Social Security Essay

1315 words - 6 pages

In 44 B.C., Cicero argued how  "Old they become less capable of physical exertion, should redouble their intellectual activity, and their principal occupation should be to assist the young, their friends, and above all their country with their wisdom and sagacity." (1) As a culture this should have been the law of the land, however over the last six decades or so America’s elderly population have not only been stripped off their money, but also of their social standing, political rights and the level of care they are given. If you consider that in the day and age in which we live a man who is retiring at the age of 65 is maybe able to retire, maybe not, and after probably around ...view middle of the document...

During this time the rising cost of Medicare and Medicaid was increasing at a rate of nearly 10% per year. (1) By the end of 1998 Medicare had reportedly spent $212 billion dollars and just six years later this number had risen to nearly $300 billion dollars. (3) These numbers were astronomical and the government couldn’t keep up or regulate this spending with a large percentage of the population aging and the social security being tied up in government debt.
Essentially social security had become the nation’s elderly populations welfare. We don’t call it this because welfare has a negative connotation, and as a government we try to remain politically correct and not to offend. (3) Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the main programs for the elderly, exceed over 40% o the federal spending. The definition a welfare program is a government providing financial aid to individuals or a group that cannot support themselves….isn’t this what Social Security does? Welfare also allows the government to at any time alter or change the conditions and policies of the program as they see fit…isn’t this what Social Security does? When the social security “trust fund” was set up with its nearly 2.6 trillion dollars it was expected to be able to cover the benefits that decades of workers had paid in taxes, however this “trust fund” would only cover the number of Americans who deserved these benefits for 3.5 years. The trust fund was depleted in 1983. (3) Congress has over the last 60 years altered the benefits many, many times. In 1960 the Supreme Court rejected a case citing that Congress can alter, repeal, or change the Social Security program whenever it wants to. (1)
All of this makes social Security the elderly welfare. The benefits constantly change. The benefits are not proportionate to the wages that a person earned in their life but skewed to match lower income wages. These realities for the elderly have been constantly ignored. (3) Our government encourages people to think that they “earned benefits and the Social Security budget is larger causing nearly 54 million recipients of Social Security are then fooled to believe that they re not effectively on welfare of the state. This is a huge issue for not only the American taxpayer and the elderly, but also for our nations larger budget issues. (1) We have been borrowing from Paul to pay Peter for so long that our annual benefits of social security far exceed the payroll taxes, the trust fund, and this gap will continue to grow. Social Security does affect our larger budget debts and problems contrary to what our government says.
Over the years and years of scaling back the Social Security benefits and limiting the programs ability to care for the aging population of our country have left our elderly in poverty and becoming a...

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