Social Security

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 30, 2005

On Friday President Bush continued hammering home his message on Social Security reform at an event hosted by the Northern Virginia Technology Council. As outlined Thursday in a primetime address, the

president is promoting a revamped plan that largely emphasizes private accounts, more money for lower income earners and less for middle and upper income citizens. Opinions are numerous and varied on the issue, as some Suffolk residents prove.

By Luefras Robinson

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No doubt many people likely feel the way Suffolk resident Brandi Turner does about President George Bush’s recent efforts to reform Social Security.

Faced with a system that’s going bankrupt, according to White House estimates, the president seeks to change the way Social Security has worked for Americans. A major thrust of the program calls for keeping social security dollars in the hands of citizens to invest themselves.

Turner may be inclined to go along with such a plan.

&uot;The government doesn’t know what it’s doing with our money,&uot; said Turner. &uot;I feel like they are messing with my money…like they are giving my money to people who don’t need it. It’s my money. If I lose it, it’s fine. But if the government loses it, I’m going to be hot.&uot;

During primetime Thursday, the president again spoke with urgency regarding the plight of social security. On Friday, speaking before the Northern Virginia Technology Council, Bush said in 2027 the obligations of the federal government to retirees will be $200 billion greater than tax receipts.

&uot;See, starting in 2017, the system goes into the red, and it gets worse every year,&uot; said Bush.

By 2041, he said the program would be broke.

Bush added that the program is solid for seniors born before 1950, but warns those born thereafter to ask their elected representatives &uot;what are you going to do about it?&uot;

In 1950, 16 workers were paying into the social security system for every beneficiary, according to Bush. Today, there are 3.3 workers per recipient.