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Your Views: The Next Generation
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Social Security surplus is wasted on national debt
To date, the national debt is equaled to more than $9 trillion. This number is absurd! And it does not even include the national debt held within the government. This debt is because the government is borrowing billions of dollars from foreign countries for general spending instead of staying within a balanced budget.

When Social Security was last reformed, it was stated that the current surplus of more than $190 billion in 2005, due to the baby boomer generation, would be used to begin to pay down this ludicrous amount.

Most of the money though, was to be spent setting up programs such as individual accounts in order to provide future generations with Social Security benefits, especially those generations whom have paid into Social Security and are currently not expected to receive it.

But where was this money spent? On other projects not stated in the Social Security reform. The national treasury currently believes that Social Security will run out in the year 2020 as more Baby Boomers begin to retire and draw Social Security. The year 2020 is only 12 short years away.

What has the government done to prepare for everyone after that? Nothing! The government was going to set up individual and private accounts for individuals so they would receive benefits but this has yet to be done. The plan to set up these individual and private accounts would cost about $754 billion over the next 10 years to set up and more than $14.4 trillion during the next 20 years.

And where does the government propose getting this money? It proposes that all of the money is borrowed from foreign nations, driving the American people further into debt. If this project is funded by foreign countries, the U.S. would be in more than $13 trillion in debt. All of this foreign borrowing is the main reason why our current dollar holds nothing to the euro, pound or even the Canadian dollar.

I believe that what little surplus of Social Security we have left should be used to begin a new system for the future. The government should replenish what Social Security money they did spend where it was not intended to be spent, and if an individual chooses to, they should be allowed to not pay into Social Security knowing ahead of time they will never be able to draw from it.

Lauren Kell
Chestatee High student

Are local road construction crews really working hard?
Over the past few weeks, I have been stopped in the traffic on Dawsonville Highway. Sometimes, when I am stopped, I observe the behavior of the construction crews that are supposed to be working on the road so that we won't have to sit in traffic.

On one occasion, I saw a man standing at the end of the bridge and as I got closer, I saw that he had a fishing pole and was fishing off the side of the bridge. I'm almost positive that fishing off the side of a bridge doesn't get very much accomplished when you are supposed to be building a highway.

Katelyn Parks
Chestatee High student

Georgia's animal abuse cases are a serious concern
In the state of Georgia, animal abuse is a felony with a maximum five years in prison, a maximum fine of $15,000 and required counseling. Yet animal abuse cases continue to rise.

Many view animal abuse as a minor crime, one that doesn't affect them directly. When the public begins to view animal abuse as a severe crime such as sexual abuse or murder of humans, then the prosecution of these abusers can be taken more seriously. Animal abuse is a fact, and more than that, it's an ongoing problem.

Anna Spurgeon
Chestatee High student

Why can't American sports fans truly embrace soccer?
Soccer is the world's most popular sport, and it has been for hundreds of years. The United States, however, has never jumped on the bandwagon frenzy that goes hand-in-hand with the sport.

People here think they are passionate about baseball, football or even basketball, but in reality a true soccer fan is as dedicated and devoted to their team as his or her wife or husband. Soccer will never become the dominant sport in America, but it needs to be recognized as the most popular sport everywhere else in the world.

Nick Stradley
Chestatee High student

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