Wineke: Let’s not make Social Security discretionary

Why October Is A Crucial Month For Seniors On Social Security

Well, that’s a campaign theme I thought I would never see.

Senator Ron Johnson said during a radio interview Tuesday that he would like to remove Social Security and Medicare from their present status as an entitlement and, instead, make them subject to annual budgetary allocation.

Really? Honestly?

Johnson says there is too much waste and fraud in the programs because the government is mandated to allocate as much money to them as they need, rather than making them justify their budgets.

What he’s really calling for is pulling the rug out from under this nation’s safety net and, really, from this nation’s senior economy.

Unless you are a multimillionaire, Social Security is part of your retirement planning.

I have known since I started working 66 years ago that I would be entitled to a defined benefit once I reached retirement age. Since I am fortunate, I was also able to rely on a company retirement program and save money – but all my planning began with Social Security.

Even today, when I look at the plummeting value of my retirement account, I know that Social Security will be there to enable me to pay my mortgage and buy food.

And Medicare? Not only is Medicare the backbone of every older person but Medicare is the backbone of every private health insurance option for retired people.

Do I really want some future Donald Trump or Ron Johnson to determine whether I can pay my mortgage or purchase diabetic medical supplies?

Here’s a hint: I do not.

I think if I were running the Democratic Party in Wisconsin I would be tempted to subsidize Johnson’s reelection campaign and just encourage him to keep talking.