There is no denying or dodging, no circumventing or sidestepping the issue. I am officially old.
Today I applied for Social Security and Medicare.
The sign-up did not take long. The marvel of the Internet and my laptop allowed me to undertake the procedure from the comfort of my favorite chair. One screen followed another as I filled out basic name/address information and answered yes/no to a series of questions.
Review the information carefully the bold print commanded as all my data appeared on one screen. I dutifully complied. At the bottom of the screen a warning, again in bold, declared my information could not be changed after submitting my application.
I took a deep breath and hit submit. It was all over, my data now inscribed in the Cloud and the government’s computers forever.
The on-line process proved painless and trouble-free, yet somewhat mentally distressing. Or maybe depressing is a better word.
Although not real, I could see the big banner in the sky bearing a melancholy message in bright-colored flashing lights declaring, “You are old! No hiding it now! This is it! YOU ARE OFFICIALLY OLD.”
But there is a bright side. Soon money sent from the Social Security office of our esteemed government will be deposited directly into my bank account every month.
I will become a card-carrying member of the 47% of the population receiving a government entitlement (to which this loyal taxpayer contributed for decades as a member of the working crowd).
My money will almost immediately be moved into the accounts of companies waiting impatiently for my funds, like my local gas and electric company, Comcast (only because there are no good alternatives), the grocery store, convenience/gas station, the guy shoveling my sidewalk, the local coffee shop – the list goes on. And as time passes (I fear) medical establishments will receive a larger and larger chunk of my cash.
I contribute to the paychecks of younger folks working in these companies, providing needed services, supporting their families and their government by paying taxes.
I am proud to be part of a vast federal employment program, helping to create jobs.
Think about it. My money will be going right back where it came - Into the coffers of the U.S. Treasury for redistribution once again.
So, politicians out there ranting about cutting off my entitlements, my dollars will be widely spread around, helping to sustain and grow the economy.
Sure there is bloat in the budget and room for improvement. If I could make a suggestion – first round cuts should be the salaries of the politicians aiming for my entitlements.
Meanwhile I eagerly await my first government largesse.