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Open Letter to the President

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Open Letter to the President

Posted by Brian Anderson (owner) on Nov 10 2012
Open Letter to the President >>

Dear President Obama,                                                                               

Now that you have another four years to lead this country, let’s have an honest dialogue and start by calling it for what it is. Taking from the poor and giving to the rich. The opposite of Robin Hood. Social Security.

It’s no secret that politicians of every stripe have long known that a financial crisis is the best time to enact legislation that the people do not truly want. Just like a predator knows to pounce on the weak, or a thief knows to steal from the intoxicated. Such was the case in the height of the Great Depression. President Roosevelt enacted the Social Security Act. Such has been the case in the height of the Great Recession. You enacted the highly divisive and very expensive Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. (For those who don’t speak government, it is affectionately known as Obamacare.) But I digress.

When Social Security began, it was intended to remove the elderly from poverty. What a great goal. And it has been very successful. And Florida is thankful. But it has done so by putting the young into poverty. Currently, more than 27% of children age 18 and under live in poverty.[i]  By contrast, only 12% of those 65 and older live in poverty. This is because, starting at age 16, and sometimes younger, children begin contributing 6.2% of their income to retirees, regardless of the retirees’ wealth or income. If you account for the matching employer contribution, these children are contributing 12.4% of their income to retirees. The rich, actually. Indeed, only 3.5% of Social Security beneficiaries rely entirely upon their Social Security check to sustain their lifestyle.[ii] The majority are wealthy, and after 40+ years in the workforce they should be. They have paid off their home, their cars, and maybe even their boats. This is the story of Robin Hood, but in reverse.

Approximately 2,600 years ago, a slave named Aesop foresaw our experiment with Social Security as he recounted the fable The Ant and the Grasshopper. While the ant spent its summer working and storing food for the winter, the grasshopper was playing. When the winter came, the grasshopper was on the ant’s doorstep, pleading for food and shelter.

Such is the case today. But, in this economic winter, the ants should not and cannot support the grasshoppers.

President Obama, I don’t really expect you to do anything. Not even a phone call. You have not gotten where you are by pushing hard choices. I don’t expect Mr. Reid to do anything, either. I can understand that he wants to “get what he paid in,” even though he has his millions and knows that’s not how the system works. The same goes for any politician who has his or her political priorities straight: get reelected, get his or her friends reelected, and look forward to his or her lifetime pension.

As for me, I will spend my time and energy telling everyone I can that Social Security has got to stop. This is the tip of the financial iceberg that will sink us if we don’t change course. What was once a security blanket is now an albatross. Our country was once financially secure, but we are now on the brink of collapse. President, if you are unable to help because of other political priorities, please pass this letter on to someone you know who might be interested in protecting the citizens of this country without sacrificing its future – our children.


Brian J. Anderson

Last changed: Nov 10 2012 at 3:36 PM

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