Most people 65+ remember WWII or heard firsthand about what happened on the home front during those frightful years. While our troops are currently engaged in wars and unrest away from home, there is a battle going on right here in the United States. The battle to get the national debt under control affects not only us it impacts the future of our children, their children and beyond.
The government is spending money faster than it can be borrowed or printed. Social Security, which came in to being about the time many New Seniors were born, is broke. Medicare came on the scene when we were in our twenties or thirties. It never was properly funded and is a drain on the national budget. With the baby boomers starting to turn 65, think of trillions of dollars these entitlements will cost taxpayers.
Flashing back on the early ‘40s, shows a different scene than we find ourselves in today. Although the government was racking up lots of debt, people were confident it was the right thing to do and citizens put aside their differences to support a greater common need. Our fathers, uncles and cousins volunteered for military service or took defense jobs. Moms, aunts and neighbor women served too. They worked in plants, did Red Cross and other service work. America was committed.
Rationing was in place so we didn’t have meats, poultry and eggs even if our families could afford them. Gas was scarce and rationed as well. New cars were not being manufactured. Many other products such as kids’ sneakers, appliances and clothing were just not available. People volunteered to plant Victory Gardens and these provided a good portion of the vegetable consumed at home during the war years. We saved papers, tin cans and anything else that could be used for the war effort, which was probably the first time many Americans recycled.
To deal with the financial crisis we all face today, the spirit of patriotism we had back then must prevail once more. Forget about political labels and wanting to get what we want before anyone else and keep it until the bitter end. Don’t let politicians play the games they do just to get re-elected. New Seniors need to show the rest of the nation that we put our country and future generations first.
This is the time for us to let the politicians know that we are willing to do our fair share rather than wait for them legislate it. We should be willing to submit to some kind of sliding scale to reduce Social Security benefits according to our overall financial situation and pay more for Medicare on the same basis. All we ask in return is for the government to start spending responsibility and that other Americans make sacrifices too.
Let’s be among the first to tell our Congressional representatives that we are ready to volunteer in the fight against the national debt. This country has been good to many New Seniors. Those of us who have been so blessed might consider giving something back so future generations can have the same opportunities we had. Do you have a better idea?