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If fixing Social Security is so easy, why doesn't somebody do it?

ElectionsCompensation and BenefitsRepublican Party

The Sun today comments on arguments made by Republican candidates for president on Social Security ("Social Security sets off sparks," Sept. 14). While acknowledging that the financing of Social Security in its present state is a "problem," The Sun maintains with an apparently straight face that it is a problem that can be "easily solved."

Really? If that is so, please explain why that hasn't happened in almost 30 years since the last Social Security reform. The Sun suggests that possible solutions include raising the age for eligibility as well as capping cost of living adjustments. Please identify for us any Democratic congressman or senator that supports those two proposals. One person who doesn't is President Obama, who has yet to put forth any proposals to reform Social Security.

The present system is simply current workers paying taxes to pay benefits to current recipients with an illusory promise to current payers that they will receive benefits at some point in the future when they retire. Sounds like a Ponzi scheme to me. The only difference is that Ponzi schemes are voluntary, but Social Security is not.

As long as politicians and their media supporters like The Sun treat Social Security as a trivial problem except when the time comes to demagogue Republicans in an election year, the problem will continue on to the detriment of our future generations.

Robert C. Erlandson, Lutherville

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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