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In My Opinion ... by Ron Phillips
In Oct. 23 Issue
Russell County News

Promises, Promises, Promises! Yes, there have been lots and lots of promises made over the past 75 years that are painfully proving to be lies.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that many promises that have been made my our federal, state and local governments are going to come up short or will not happen at all. I don't believe I have met anyone who likes to be lied too, but it does seem to come easy to many, especially our elected officials.  Let's take Social Security for example. When initially signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935 as part of his New Deal, Social Security was to be a vehicle that would provide benefits for retirement, disability, survivorship, and death. The Social Security Act of 1935 quite possibly would have worked as it was intended had Congress been prohibited from touching the fund, but we all know what happens when there is a big pot of money, (commonly called surplus) just setting their waiting to be spent. As time marched on, several social welfare and social insurance programs were added to the program. The larger and better known programs are Federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance, Unemployment Benefits, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Health Insurance for Aged and Disabled (Medicare), Grants to States for Medical Assistance Programs (Medicaid), State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). I'm sure that all of these programs have helped millions of people, but a rational thinking person realizes that you can only put so many in a boat before it sinks! Each of these programs should have been funded on their own or simply put, provide a new boat for each new social program.

Rand Paul is taking a lot of heat right now for suggesting that we consider placing a deductable on Medicare Benefits. While this idea has sparked harsh and misguided criticism, all he is suggesting are possible ways to save the system from a certain death.  I also believe these changes are being suggested for future participants in the program. Right now, our present workforce is funding the benefits currently being paid out to our seniors. Under the current guidelines, there will not be any funds available for our young people when they retire or need assistance. The New York Times report on March 24, 2010; This year, the (Social Security) system will pay out more in benefits than it receives in payroll taxes, an important threshold it was not expected to cross until at least 2016, according to the Congressional Budget Office. This article means that our Social Security System is on life support and we're still waiting for a "Miracle Drug" to cure it! Again, a reasonable thinking person understands that when our nation already owes nearly 14 trillion dollars, it cannot possibility continue to fund the largest financial responsibility that our county has to date. The U.S. Social Security Program is the largest government program in the world and the single greatest expenditure in our federal budget today. The National Debt is presently $13,619,572,795,774.09. The estimated population of the United States is 309,298,369.  So each citizen's share of this debt is $44,033.77!  Anyone want to say STOP!

We face a similar problem in many of our state and local governments.  We have many states that have pension liabilities to there retirees that are already impossible to continue funding.  In many cases there are labor agreements that have been made between unions and state officials, but you know the old saying, "You can't get blood out of a Turnip!" The current administration in the White House however is not going to let states that can no longer pay go belly-up! Once again, we the tax payer will help fund these states so retirees may continue to draw pension checks that are in some cases nearly as much as they made when they were still working.  If you think that the federal government cannot go broke, think again! Those who insist this could not happen should take a look at history.  Let's look at ten of the best-known national governments that have done accomplished the unthinkable. Argentina went bankrupt in 2001 when it could not pay its $145 billion in foreign debts. Iceland is a more recent casualty of the global financial crisis in 2008. Germany has gone bankrupt not once, but twice. The first time was in 1920 after losing World War I and the second time in 1945 after loosing World War II, but Great Britain was also bankrupt after World War II.  In 1998 Russia's economy collapsed as a result of investor fears that the government would default on its domestic debt. (Sound Similar) Pakistan faced default on its huge foreign debt in 2008. Zimbabwe faced national bankruptcy in 2008. Ecuador is another nation to have gone bankrupt twice in its history. France basically was bankrupt in the late 1700's due to helping us in our War of Independence with England. And finally, Spain takes the prize in being the first sovereign nation in history to declare bankruptcy in 1557, again in 1560, 1575 and 1596. They still didn't learn anything because they went bankrupt seven times in the 19th century. These ten examples are strong reminders that national bankruptcy is very much real, and has repeatedly happened throughout history. Only a fool will say it cannot happen to us!

Like it or not, someone has to say STOP!  Many experts say that it is already too late, but I however believe that the same enthusiasm and determination that our forefathers had to free us from the clutches of England's oppressions will somehow prevail and point us in the right direction. We owe it to our children to tell them the truth and make sure they understand why everyone still wants to come here instead of anywhere else in the world.  Remember, put God first in your life and please vote on November 2nd. Your children's futures depend on it! At the rate our government has been spending money, we should have our public schools start teaching Mandarin which is the official language of the People's Republic of China.

May God Bless,

Ron Phillips

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The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
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