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Monday, October 25, 2010

Social Security - The True Halloween Scare

I am amazed at the news media's reluctance to actually parse the issues in the current election and hold the candidate's feet to the fire on their answers. Being in the aging business, I have to hold my nose to see Congressman Larry Kissell's ads attacking challenger Harold Johnson for wanting to destroy the Social Security system. I've also seen the ad by Congressman John Spratt accusing Mick Mulvaney of wanting to outlaw Social Security. Spratt's ad shows Mulvaney in front of seniors behind bars.

Now, come on.

I know that both ads were paid for by the Democratic National Committee and it has been a tired and well worn campaign tactic of the Democrats to try to paint Republicans as anti-seniors. But, the reason why Social Security and Medicare are headed straight toward fiscal insolvency is the fear-mongering that goes on whenever proposals to save these programs are discussed.

So, the first politician to be responsible and suggest alternatives gets beat over his head by his opponent as anti-Social Security. And, the politicians know that older adults vote.

I am an advocate for older adults. But, as Dr. Joe Gribbin, painfully and shockingly pointed out at the National Active Retirement Association (NARA) Conference this past week, the money's running out soon. Unless something is done, this country's entitlement obligation threatens to throw the country into bankruptcy.

I thought it was interesting that when I called the Associated Press in South Carolina to cover Dr. Gribbin's Social Security presentation, the response I got was: "we're too busy covering the election." How short-sighted is that? Covering the sound bites and ignoring the issues. This is the abyss we find ourselves in circa 2010. Is there any wonder intelligent people are seeking their information far and wide on the internet?

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