Posted by: johnhourihan | September 7, 2012

The newest Republican almost truth but not quite

I was forwarded an email from somewhere in the ether. It was called The REAL TRUTH about Social Security. It had a distinctively Republican flavor to it so I thought I had better check some of the facts.
It pretty much denigrated Democrats for changing the original 1934 contract for Social Security.
Sure, a lot of things have changed and the Democrats changed some of them, but the REAL TRUTH is it needed to be changed.
For instance the original contract was for WHITE MEN ONLY. It had no survivor benefit, and just to make sure only the right people got any of the money some jobs were excluded: Teacher, nurse, domestic help, hospital help and librarian among some others. You know, the ones we used to call women’s jobs.
That part wasn’t mentioned in the REAL TRUTH.
Let me show you further why we should be real careful when we get a list of “facts.“

One FACT in the list was:
“That the money the  participants put into the independent ‘Social Security Trust Fund’ would not be put in the ‘General Operating Fund’, and therefore, would only be used to fund the Social Security Retirement Program, and no other Government program; Under Lyndon Johnson, another Democrat, the money was moved to The General  Fund and spent.

First, you have to understand that the 1934 Social Security act covered a lot more than we think. For instance Title II is what most of us refer to as Social Security. It is payments to retired people who paid into it for a number of quarters. There were several other Titles, and only Title II was to be put into the Social Security Trust. All the others were in the General funds. Those sending you “the facts” usually know this. The funds come from the federal government to the states and always went into the General Fund. About that time, LBJ was signing into law another assistance bill: Medicare, so old people wouldn’t just die when they got sick. He probably needed some money for that too.

That, however, is not even the worst foolishness in THE REAL TRUTH.
At the end of the LIST OF HALF TRUTHS AND LIES It says:

Q: Which Political Party decided to start giving annuity payments to immigrants?

A: That’s right! Jimmy Carter and the Democratic Party.

Immigrants move into this country, and at age 65, receive Social Security payments even though they never paid a dime into it!

Then, after violating the original contract (FICA), the Democrats turn around and tell you that the Republicans want to take your Social Security away!

And the worst part about it is uninformed citizens believe it!

If enough people receive this, maybe a seed of awareness will be planted and, maybe, changes will evolve.
Maybe not. Some Democrats are awfully sure of what isn’t so.

But it’s worth a try.
How many people can YOU send this to? Actions speak louder than bumper stickers.

OK, well, illegal immigrants do not get what we call Social Security. No one gets social security retirement benefits except those of us who have paid into the system for “at least 40 quarters.” If you are collecting Social Security you know this to be true. If you don’t pay, you don’t get benefits. And by the way, none of this money ever goes into the General Fund. So no illegal alien gets any money from Title II, what most of us call Socail Security. They do not get a penny.
Do they get money form other social security titles? Yes.
But it was not signed into law by a Democrat. SSI was signed into law in 1969 by Richard Nixon, a Republican.
It pays money to the aged, blind, and disabled if they have little or no income to help them with food, clothing, and shelter. I think it is a good idea.
In 1997 President Clinton, not Jimmy Carter, signed the Welfare Reform Act. Since the Welfare Reform Act dropped an item that was in the Nixon law, Clinton reinstated it when he passed the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. That reinstated item was a part of the Nixon law that made SSI funds  available to some eligible non-citizens. So when  people tell you illegal immigrants are taking Social Security money out of you r pocket they usually know they are lying to you. The money is coming form SSI which is paid for out of the general fund, always has been.

As to the percentage of contributions for SS going up: So do the SS payments. There is a cost of living raise almost every year, which wasn‘t in the original contract either. If the amounts paid in stayed the same there wouldn’t be enough money to pay out.
And do I want the government running health care? Well, if the alternative is to privatize it and let the insurance companies run it, you bet I do. Medicare has been working pretty well since it started. Old people don’t die at home from “old age” any more, instead they go to the hospital and it is partially paid for by Medicare or they go to a nursing home which is paid for by Medicaid. The Republicans plan to alter both severely if they get in. They would turn Medicare into a voucher system, and cut all the titles of social security which is designed to help those in need of food, shelter and health care.

So the next time a Republican tells you about the facts, don’t just believe him. Look it up.



  1. Thank you for refuting this horrendous email. People will say anything these days to “prove” their point.

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