Privatization equals ripoff

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Sunday morning we tuned in to &uot;Meet the Press&uot; before going to church and after watching that program, my husband and I really needed a preacher.

The program’s focus was on Social Security and the prospect of every working person establishing their own savings account for retirement instead of depending upon Social Security payments.

Social Security has faced problems for some time, actually since the early ’90’s when the feds began talking about &uot;notch babies,&uot; those people born between 1916 and 1927. Those people, like our baby boomers today, paid into the system all their lives and then found they were to be shortchanged when it came to receiving benefits.

What people do not realize is that nowhere in our Constitution are we guaranteed Social Security benefits, and that our government can break the promise of paying those benefits at any time.

This is a great social injustice and nothing more than robbery of money that belongs to us. Unless we stand up and let our congressional representatives and senators, and yes, even the president, know how taking our benefits away will affect our lives, it will happen.

I watched Meet the Press and was amazed when the panel started out with divergent views on the &uot;privatization&uot; of Social Security and before the program ended, they agreed that the congress and senate all need to sit down and discuss alternatives to privatization.

I am deeply concerned for the state of the American people. My husband and are both blessed with good incomes and we afford many of life’s little luxuries- like food, lights, shelter and clothing. But, I know there are people in this county who can ill afford to save money when it’s all they can do to feed their children.

Even worse, if those families did manage to save up a sizable amount, what do you think they would do if an emergency came up? People lose jobs, but mortgages and rent must still be paid. The children must be fed and medical emergencies occur on a seemingly regular basis, especially if you have kids.

What would you do, for instance, if you had saved a couple thousand dollars and the dentist said your child had to have braces or go through life with a distinct overbite? Most parents would fork over the funds without batting an eye. Now, think about that same scenario, except that your child must have emergency surgery. How much of your privatized social security account would you have left over?

I do not pretend to know what to do about the mess the feds have us in over social security, but I do know that something has to be done to save the Social Security system-to restore faith in it and to provide maximum protection to current and future beneficiaries.

It is our moral obligation to do this, just as it was our moral responsibility when our nation marshaled enough resolve and strength to send American combat forces to the Persian Gulf to combat a takeover of Arab oil by Saddam Hussein.

Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan has called the raid on Social Security trust funds &uot;thievery,&uot; and I wholeheartedly agree with his declaration. Former Senator Terry Sanford said, &uot;If we were in a private corporation and spending retirement funds, all the corporate officials would go to jail for misusing pension funds.&uot;

We have to take a stand, people, or we will come out the losers in this latest government fiasco.

Only if we, the American citizens, mobilize as a political force can we ensure that Social Security will be a viable system for retirement. I urge you; take action now. Contact your North Carolina Representatives Howard J. Hunter Jr. at, or write to him at 613 Legislative Office Building, Raleigh, NC 27603-5925, or call

919-733-2962. He represents Bertie, Gates, Hertford, Perquimans counties.

Email President George W. Bush at or you may call 202-456-1111 to voice your opinions. Fax 202-456-2461, or write The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500.