U.S. Capitol

Flags fly Tuesday in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 1.

Ever since the yearly government report on Social Security and Medicare came out recently, those who wish to cut those programs have been crying doom and gloom, even in articles that are supposed to be news and not opinion.

For instance, stating that these programs contribute to the deficit are simply untrue. By law, Social Security cannot add to the deficit and is self sustaining, meaning all of its funding is separate from other taxation.

Social Security's ability to pay 100% of its obligations is good through 2035, a year longer than last year's report, and doing away with the wage cap will make that possible well into the second half of this century or longer.

Prescription drug prices are a huge part of Medicare's fiscal challenge. Lowering them, as well as allowing Medicare to negotiate prices for drugs, as the Veterans Administration does, would be a huge improvement toward it's long term solvency.

Another myth in at least one recent news article is that Trump won't allow cuts to these programs when in fact he has already cut Social Security disability and drastically cut Medicare and Medicaid through his disastrous tax cut law, which all of our Nebraska congressional delegation supported).

The articles are right about one thing: that is it is time for Congress to act. Those who would weaken or destroy these vital programs for ideological reasons need to get out of the way and let Congress do its job.

Al Mumm, Waterloo

President, Nebraska Alliance for Retired Americans Educational Fund

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