The third rail … who says they aren’t entitlements

The third rail of a nation’s politics is a metaphor for any issue so controversial that it is “charged” and “untouchable” to the extent that any politician or public official who dares to broach the subject will invariably suffer politically.

Politicians created many programs over the years that have become ingrained in our society. Social Security and Medicare are the largest. The current retired generation thinks it has paid for these programs, but it has not. 

The fiscal condition of these programs is dismal and getting worse because of the lack of prudent changes over many years.  Simply put, doing the right thing is prevented by the third rail and the desire to buy votes by avoiding the truth and pushing problems past the next election. 

Dependency breeds fear, the fear of losing something on which you are dependent and so you seek to prevent that by punishing anyone who threatens what you depend on. It’s quite understandable when people in fact are dependent on things like Social Security and Medicare. But that doesn’t make problems go away, that doesn’t eliminate the need to take action to fix things or that it’s not only the current retired generation to consider, but future generations as well. 


  1. Facts get in the way of propaganda for far to many, when it comes to the Social Security System and how it operates.

    DeeJ –

    1. No one collecting a SS check paid in enough to cover anything close to what the will receive in lifetime benefits. Most people get everything paid in taxes back in 6 to 8 years.

    2.LBJ did not do anything with the SS trust fund. The fund currently has 2.7 trillion dollars that will be gone by 2035, because 10,000 baby boomers are retiring every day, drawing the trust fund down to zero over the next 18 years.

    3. Congress has been paying the SS tax since 1985.

    4. Any excess SS taxes go into the general fund and special interest paying bonds, are issued, it was set up that way in 1935, that is what is in the trust fund today.

    5. Since 2010 SS taxes collected has not been enough to pay all current benefits and trust fund bonds have been paid cashed to cover the shortage.

    6. If the spending levels continue Medicare will be out of money in 2025, without large borrowing by the government. 20 trillion in debt and growing every day.

    I do not know who is teaching the SS seminars you have been attending, but they are missing current and correct information.


  2. Anyone who has paid their FICA taxes which are matched dollar for dollar by the employer HAS paid for their Social Security in good faith that our government would invest wisely what was left over by the current generation for our generation. Insurance not Welfare. If we had kept the money and invested it; we could be millionaires. Some years the interest rates were 10-17% on a plain old CD at the bank. But LBJ moved it into his general funds to MAKE his budget LOOK balanced. Congress saw a pot of gold sitting there. Yes for over 50 years they have been plucking it out for other things. In 2016, they tried again but Rep. Lance got a bunch of Rep. together in the house and voted DOWN the expenditure. They said don’t touch SS funds.
    Now we could increase the funds if they would take OFF the yearly limit that most of us never reach. 118,000 this year. Continue it all year long. CEOs are done paying it by 2/1 each year.
    Congress doesn’t pay in so it doesn’t bother them to use it. free money to them. OURS.
    RR workers have their own system and they don’t pay in either. Farmers get a choice if they want to pay into the fund. Illegals are not entitled to any of this as SS says they will not issue them a card with a number, I called the office. no pay in, no pay out. this is NOT WELFARE.
    My parents are Notch babies and they get less because they paid into it less years. SS goes by how many years you paid into it, what salary you had avg. for so many years. I sat with the SS rep. and watched her on the computer bring up my information. We also get statements if requested. I have also taken seminars on SS many times now. Medicare also comes out of our taxes.


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