Response to Tim Wiederaenders column in Feb. 19 Courier.
I agree entirely with the general thrust of Tim’s article regarding our road infrastructure here in Yavapai County.
And he accurately calls out some in the state government on the Republican side for their conservative overreach in compulsively opposing more spending for real needs, and complements another fellow conservative (Representative Campbell, R-District 1) for his attempts to address these needs.
But my disagreement with Tim is his distortion of how Social Security actually works as he states in the opening “Congress raiding Social Security for decades ... threatens to make insolvent our federal ... payments”.
Congress is not and never has “raided” our Social Security trust fund. I refer you to an article by Steve Vernon in CBS Money Watch of Oct. 11, 2012, which describes the process.
The past surpluses of SS were converted into special bonds and held in a trust fund which is now being drawn on to cover the SS deficit which started in 2010. Yes the rest of the federal government spent the money it received while issuing these bonds. All of the bonds have to be redeemed for cash to SS as they mature.
The trust funds will fully cover the SS deficit until 2029 when the funds will be exhausted and SS recipients will face a cut of 29 percent to their benefits (CBO’s Long Term Projections of SS, Dec. 21, 2016). This is the problem we face down the road in just 12 years. You must tell Congress that they need to address this future insolvency now! And we don’t need to cut benefits if we merely increase the level of income that is taxed by the Social Security tax.