M.D. Harmon writes that “the interesting thing about the truth is that hard facts don’t bend to political spin.” But he then proceeds to repeat fact-less political party propaganda. He writes “…a 60 year old billionaire (whom I shall not honor with a name) thinks income redistribution from the young to the old has gotten entirely out of hand.”

Harmon regurgitates the billionaire’s propaganda line, given in a speech to college students, by saying; “the biggest wealth-transfer programs (he includes Social Security) take hundreds of billions from the less affluent and give it to the relatively more affluent elderly.” The billionaire Harmon writes about obviously hopes to brainwash more acolytes with his spiel to college students, who by their youth may be prone to suggestibility.

Both he and Harmon could not possibly be so uniformed about Social Security, so they use propaganda. Social Security is not a “wealth transfer” program. Facts show in 2011 the median annual income, even for those without a high school diploma or its equivalent was $22,900, (National Center for Education Statistics) and the median annual Social Security benefit for age 65 and older was $13,376. (Social Security Administration). In truth, which of these two groups, based on their median incomes, is the most affluent?

Few Social Security beneficiaries are affluent as is evidenced by the above-mentioned median benefits. Factually Social Security is an inadequately “funded” retirement program paid into by the ultimate beneficiaries through withholdings from paychecks. Funded assets are U.S. Treasury Notes “bought” from the government. In 2011, just interest alone on those securities fully paid the beneficiaries. The billionaire, revered by Harmon, spews propaganda by calling Social Security an “entitlement.” A disparaging term used by right-wing conservatives to support their efforts to damage or do away with the program.

Jim ChiddixWaterville

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