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opinion Willmar, 56201
West Central Tribune
(320) 235-6769 customer support
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

By The Associated Press

An excerpt from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States:

On Social Security:

Earlier in this recession, big government supporters smugly pointed to the troubled stock market as proof that George W. Bush was wrong to push for privatization of Social Security. The current system, Americans were told with satisfaction, was better because workers' retirements were safe in the hands of the federal government. Apparently "safe" has a different meaning to some people.

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Two different media reports recently spotlighted troubles in the so-called trust fund where Social Security keeps the excess money it collects every year. It's long been common knowledge that the trust fund is no such thing; it's made up of IOUs from the federal government. Congress has been systematically raiding any Social Security revenue to fund other government activities.

A Washington Post story in May noted that new estimates show the fund will run out of money four years earlier than estimated a year ago. More recently, a Time magazine piece reported the Congressional Budget Office says Social Security will pay out more in benefits this year than it takes in from workers and employers. Both reports blame the recession and massive job losses for the decline in the system.

Remember those halcyon days when we were told we didn't have to worry about Social Security solvency until sometime in the future? Well, the future is now. Congress can no longer kick the can down the road until current members are out of office. It must face the problem and figure out how to deal with it. Above all, it must be honest with the people, whose money Congress has squandered for decades.

-- The Gazette, Colorado Springs, Colo.

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