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Rick Nolan states Social Security is an earned benefit. I am frankly not sure what he means, but I assume he means “it’s yours, you earned it.” If that is the case, he joins many politicians who apparrently have limited understanding of the program that has served America well for the last 80 years and choose to mischaracterize it to score political points.

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Social Security is a unique form of insurance, called “Social Insurance” by the professionals who determine the finances of the program. It is a current transfer of funds from workers, who are taxed, to retirees (and certain survivors.)

Its financial success relies on the income from taxes matching the benefits paid.

Today, more is being paid out than is coming in. That shortfall is made up of extra taxes that were collected in past years. But we will run out of those extra dollars soon.

We can wait as Mr. Nolan recommends and face a crisis down the road, or we can take action now that will be less painful, just as President Reagan and Speaker O’Neill did in a bipartisan way in the the 80s.

Let’s stop distorting the facts about Social Security and take action now as Congressman Cravaack suggests.

Bob Hunstad

East Gull Lake

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Sarah Nelson
Sarah Nelson joined the Brainerd Dispatch in April 2010 and works as a online reporter, content editor and staff writer. She is a world traveler, accused idealist and California native now braving the winters of Central Minnesota. She believes in the power of human resolve and hopes to be part of something that makes history by bringing an end to injustice in the world. Sarah has worked as a criminal background researcher, high school civics teacher, grant writer, and contributing writer with Causecast.org — tackling every issue from global poverty to bio-degradable bicycles. Her favorite thing about living in Minnesota is July. Sarah left the Brainerd Dispatch in April 2014.
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