Opinion

The Lie Behind Social Security

social security cardsfrom – American Thinker – by Dan Weber

Social Security is in trouble. We all know this, or should. But there is a cheat within the system, and it is time the cheat was brought into the full light of day. In short, Democrat lawmakers — and Republicans who have remained silent on the issue — are complicit in a process that amounts to fuzzy math or worse – intentional confiscation of Social Security benefits from those who, all their lives, have worked harder. Contrary to public misconception, Social Security is not a level playing field — it is, in fact, confiscatory.

Let me put the numbers before you, and you reach the conclusion to which they lead. This is pure math. The question that the math presents is sobering: The Democrats are fond of asking, “Are the rich paying their fair share?” But the real question is: Why do those who work harder all their lives end up with less?  In sum, those who make more, are paying for it later — the Social Security system is rigged to pay them less. Here are the raw numbers.

You would think that if a worker earned double the income during their working years, their Social Security would be double — but that is not the case. When you do the calculations for a person with a $4,000 average monthly income, the Social Security benefit comes out to $1,759 for life. So you would expect a person whose average monthly income was $8,000 to have a double Social Security benefit of $3,518, but in reality, they would only receive $2,525 per month.

The numbers are arresting, although no one is being arrested. They are sobering, although one wonders where the more sober minds are to right the implicit wrong. Social Security benefits are presently calculated to enrich the benefits of lower-wage earners by taking away money from higher-wage earners. No politician tells you this, but it is the rock-hard truth. This is presumably baked into the system in order to give poorer people more money.  But there is certainly no problem with that.

The central problem is with the false impression that continues to be created by those in positions of leadership. The impression presented day in and day out is that higher-income individuals — or those who have worked longer and harder all their lives — are not paying their fair share. But that is frankly not true. As Ronald Reagan was fond of saying, “facts are stubborn things,” and so they are. As illustrated above, the higher average lifetime income an individual has worked to earn, the less fair the Federal Government is to that person in retirement. Put differently, the lower the percentage of salary they are getting back in the form of Social Security. Is that fair?

Is that honest? Is that being publicly discussed? No — and the question is, why not? Just as veterans should not twice be taxed on their pension earnings, those Americans who have worked harder and lived longer in their earning capacity, should not be punished for their industry, diligence, creativity, or sweat. After all, into what venture is that sweat equity being paid? It is paid into the prosperity of the United States of America, and what one puts in — one should equitably get back in the older years, when the pension matters so much. So, where is the fairness? And where are those who will stand up for seniors, particularly those who have worked all their lives to make the sunset years, sustainable?

Despite the unfairness of the facts, liberals want to punish more and harshly those older Americans who earn more and have worked harder, those higher-income individuals who have built the prosperity on which we all rely. They are attacking the hardest workers and highest earners in retirement, more today than ever before. The fiction that they are not paying more for others needs to be stopped; the truth needs to be laid bare, spoken boldly, and inequities in the Social Security system need to be put under the bright lights and openly discussed. To date, they have not been.

By raising the tax cap, those who have earned salaries over the current cap will receive an even smaller percentage of their salary in the form of Social Security as compared to low-wage and middle-wage earners. So remind me again why this continuing burden on those who work the hardest, strive and risk and sacrifice the  most, that have put more in over the passage of time, not being rewarded — and  why is this added burden on them not, in the end, proof that they continue  to pay more than their “fair share”?

The sad fact is that the present leadership — in many parts of the Federal government — seems intent on obfuscating the truth, and in the process punishing, diminishing, and disparaging the hard work of seniors. It is time that the truth was plainly spoken, and that the hard-won benefits of seniors who have put more into the system and at a higher level, those who have worked harder for America over their many years, were not ignored.

These many seniors — the ones who worked hardest and paid the most into the Social Security system — are the ones most regularly punished by an inequitable Social Security payment system, one that penalizes their hard work in retirement. The irony is that they pay more than their fair share and always have. And yet we have a president, and many around him, who are intent on placing the burdens of runaway Federal profligacy on their backs.  Shall we talk fairness, then? Who would call that fair? Bold and honest leadership that appreciates them, treats them fairly, and recognizes the hard work to which they have given their lives — and the tremendous gift that hard work is to their country — is needed.

Dan Weber is the President of AMAC, a senior citizens group that represents 1.3 million Americans and seeks greater fidelity to fiscal responsibility by the Federal Government. 

 


If You Enjoy Articles Like This - Subscribe to the AMAC Daily Newsletter
and Download the AMAC News App

Sign Up Today Download

If You Enjoy Articles Like This - Subscribe to the AMAC Daily Newsletter!


Subscribe
Notify of
60 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Angela
6 years ago

I always have to scoff at the silly idea that rich people work longer and harder. What an outrageous fallacy.
Social Security is not about “fairness”. The concept of fairness is only meaningful at the level of kindergarten games.
The poor work harder. Period. They usually work longer as well. Rich people can afford to retire young. Hello!
the questions Social Security addresses are no related to mathematical fairness, but SOCIAL EQUITY and yes, SECURITY, for those who have worked hard but may not have been able to attain financial security anyway by a reasonable retirement age. How many people can reasonably still work at 70? We have extended life, true, but not quality of life. Many people are quite infirm by age 70. If the average person lives to between 75 and 78 years, that means fifty percent of people not only cant work but even die long before that. This means that we literally have many people working until they drop dead because they can’t afford to retire . That is not equitable. Equity is not a childish, and mercenary fairness. An equity approach signifies
development aimed at reaching the most marginalized and deprived populations first and foremost. The rich do not need help retiring without undue hardship. The program was designed primarily to help the working poor achieve financial security in old age. Equity was, and still should be, the goal of the Social Security program. Avoiding having our elderly subsist on cat food is the primary goal. Not an exact monetary redistribution. The rich are always loudly complaining (not to mention lobbying) about how ‘unfairly” they are treated, I find it sickeningly Scrooge-like. Those who have become prosperous from our monetary and business systems should not, and do not, need support from the government for their General Welfare.
The fact is that “To whom much is given, much is expected” should be the guiding principle behind taxation and Social Security. If you benefit disproportionately, you should have to give back more to the Res Publica that gave you, (yes “gave you”, can any argument sucessfully deny that any enterprise is dependent on Public works?) your unmerited good fortune. Any equitable concept of Social Justice demands this as it’s core concept, goal, and restraint. It is the ideal of any free and humane society that can call itself civilized.

Ratsky
7 years ago

I am 71; I retired fully about 3 weeks ago. There are numerous factors OTHER than the “amount put in” (which MUST in all analyses be doubled to cover the “employer contribution”) that impact the extreme lack of equity in the Social Security/Medicare system today. Once I started my full-time career about 50 years ago, I have always (except for a couple of periods of unemployment) been a “high wage earner” by SSA standards: I almost always would hit “the cap” on FICA taxes sometime in October. Since I always had good employer-subsidized health insurance, I was able to defer Medicare Part B (and D) after I turned 65. Because of one of those “periods of extended unemployment,” and a problem with my COBRA coverage, my wife and I went on Medicare B and D, and both started to draw SS retirement benefits a bit early. After about 18 months of this involuntary “retirement” I found a new job with pretty much the same compensation level as my prior position, with equal or better benefits. We were able to drop our Medicare B and D as the new employer plan was “creditable coverage” (to use some typical governmentese meaning “way better than we would provide”).

BTW, throughout my entire working life, we lived BELOW our income, and (when allowed) participated in employer 401K plans (or equivalent, since I was working long before 401Ks were invented) to the maximum extent possible. When I left my first post-degree full-time employer (after 13 years) I set up a rollover IRA with the proceeds of their plan, and again (when allowed by IRS rules which changed a number of times) made maximum contributions to employer plans AND the IRA (or an IRA for my wife, who always worked “part-time” for non-profits without any plans); I also had other chances to “roll over” later employer plan accounts, either to my first one, or setting up a new one. Thus, we have managed to accumulate “a tidy sum” that will be adequate for us to maintain our standard of living (remember we always lived BELOW our income!).

Now comes the interesting part: the Federal Government has put in place mechanisms that many people don’t know about, or don’t grasp the impact. Since I retired at the end of March 2015, we started our Medicare (B and D) April 1. We have received at least 5 letters each from SSA, explaining what deductions are to be taken out of our Social Security payments. I was already subject to an $8/month penalty for a “gap in coverage” when we signed up the first time (due to a RETROACTIVE cancellation of my COBRA coverage because of a lost mailed check); since my wife started her coverage at age 65, she had no penalty. After several exchanges with the bureaucracy to establish that there was no gap in coverage this time, we finally received a notice that we EACH would be subject to an extra $42 each month “surtax” because we made just enough income (AGI, the number at the bottom of Page 1 of your 1040) in 2013 to qualify as a “rich family” to be soaked. That “income cap” was $170K (for a married couple, which included in our case both our social security income, and also the value of “imputed income” because my employer provided life insurance). Now also consider that for 3.75 years, I was not only receiving Social Security, but I was also paying both the MAX FICA tax, and the UNCAPPED Medicare taxes; and of course my employer had to match those “contributions” by law. I am certain I will be hit with an even larger punitive “surtax” next year, based on an even higher AGI in 2014, and (although a bit lower) even the year after, when I will be “punished” for continuing to work in 2015 for the first quarter! Oh, and having turned 71, I was required to start drawing RMDs (officially “Required Minimum Distributions” but could also be “Retirement Mass Destruction”) from not only my IRAs, but even from my employer plan: it turns out that the sheltering condition delaying RMDs from ACTIVE 401K accounts is removed the day after you are no longer employed! It took about 6 phone conversations totaling about 2.5 hours with the retirement specialist from the broker that handles my former employer’s plan for us to completely figure out what THEY had to do, and what I COULD do (which turned out to be NOTHING as I had only been in the plan for ~4 years, and if you TOUCH any part of the plan before FIVE years, you get another whole bunch of penalties and taxes extricated directly from your account.

Now, anyone who pays the slightest attention to the news media should be aware that the vast majority of the “boomer generation” (I and my wife are technically “pre-boomers” born during WW2) will NOT be able to completely retire to the lifestyle they had planned if at all. Thus THEY TOO will continue to work, and see their incomes pummeled by these hidden taxes, surtaxes, fines, etc. already in place, and set to increase AUTOMATICALLY without any action by Congress required.

Boatman
7 years ago

Classic democratic party strategy. Take money from folks that work hard to buy the votes of those who don’t. And it works. BHO won two terms as the worst president of this country. Hillary will continue the tradition.

Peter V
7 years ago

Fair? Give me a break!!! We both should know that ‘fair’ is in the eye of the beholder. Social Security was meant to provide ‘security’ for those who lacked the will, or whatever, to save for their retirement. That word ‘security’ doesn’t translate for me into some kind of ‘matching income’.

Bob
6 years ago
Reply to  Peter V

When got married in our early 40’s, my wife stopped working outside the home to take care of our combined family
of 10. Big job. When she turned 65 and filed for SS, she was told she missed having enough quarters by 6. Who is getting the money she paid in during the 34 quarters she was paying?

Dom J
7 years ago

Social Security was NEVER intended to be a primary source of retirement income. Its purpose is to supplement pensions and personal retirement savings. Those who have earned more and thus have had more of an opportunity to save and qualify for higher pensions need less of such a supplement.

Also, the cap on earnings subject to the SS tax should be removed with no increase in maximum benefits. This simple adjustment would nearly solve Social Security’s fiscal problems by itself. It’s not as if this is without precedent. This is exactly what we currently do with Medicare Taxes.

BTW, I am a fiscal conservative, and proudly so.

Howard Last
7 years ago

From the comments it appears that AMAC should review their position on Social Security. I was a delegate (Wyoming) for the congressional district, but decided to drop out when I could not agree with AMAC’s position.

John
7 years ago

I just finished my taxes for 2014 and 1/3rd of my Social Security is taxed. This is just another rip off by the Feds.

Fred Loe
7 years ago

To those interested in fairness(that is what we hear from the left everyday,) My statement reflects what I and myself(self-employed paid in to now my 68th year) over 300,000 dollars with a payback of close to 3,000/month. Now you do the math and you will see just to get back what I EARNED in Social security 300,000 divided by 36,000=8.33 years just get back the sweat dollars put in.So of course no interest when I am 76 (if i live that long) the government saw having use of my own monies would not save enough for the little woman who stayed home and took care of her children and husband all those years and never made a paycheck(most kids are out the door at 18) and allowed her to draw spousal benefits at 62 and now she lives on average longer that men so take her $1,000/month (whenI die) 62+25 years=87years but never paid in a dime.Do you see any fairness or equality in those number’s.Now to be FAIR unequal pay in to pay out That is a bigger problem than gender pay inequality.This does not even get into the monies with- held for my Medicare those are my dollars totally and I get to pay a higher premium for the same yet to go broken system of paying doctors less than they should receive..You could not run a business solely on medicare reimbursement just watch how they hang out this quality word in the coming years from Medicare.Its means LESS care more bureaucrats to handle your and mine’s money.Socialism what a scam has not worked anywhere for any length of time!

Savannah
7 years ago

I’m sorry.. but just because you made more money does NOT give you the right to claim that you worked harder and longer than those who made less. Get out of your neighborhood for an afternoon and go to the other side of town so you can get some kind of reality perspective on what LABOR actually is. I doubt you’ve ever actually done any.

Doug Pierson
7 years ago
Reply to  Savannah

Many people can.I know what it’s like to sweat and toil at menial labor. I’ve worked in factories and founderies. I’ve worked on my knees picking carrots and potatos on a truck farm and manually unloaded box cars of 100 lb bags of gravel for $1.60 per hour for 10 hours a day. I also worked my way through college and paid off my student loans. I worked from the age of 15 to 65 paying in SS from the low $0.60 per hour on the truck farm to a six figure salary at retirement. My SS payment has an “equity”enhancement that should be paying me not someone else.

jpr
7 years ago
Reply to  Savannah

I’m “sorry” too, Savannah, but your personal emotions and resentments make you neither intellectually nor morally superior. If your concern is really… the greatest good of the greatest number, then one’s working “harder and longer” is far less important to the needy many than one producing actual value, regardless of the “side of town.” Alleged “altruism” for the needy (and resentment of other’s success) doesn’t begin to justify one’s ambition to subjugate the worthy.

BobA
7 years ago
Reply to  Savannah

Savannah, sorry to see that you feel obligated to judge someone, first that you don’t know and secondly giving his opinion, which thankfully we are all still able to do. What was it that bothered you, his statement that socialism is a scam?

Thomas Eans
7 years ago

I cannot thank AMAC enough for its conservative fiscal views and that it promotes those ideas to its membership and to our population. Everyone needs to keep hearing this message until they understand the unfairness of the US government on SS and everything else.
We also need to bring back the draft and punish those who refuse to go, like Bill Clinton, whose family continues to refer to our police as “pigs” and get by with breaking any law they choose. Those who would rather devote 3-4 years to a work program could substitute this if they truly worked in it for the common good. This change would teach them self discipline and help them mature. The work program could also provide employment for ex military men and women who would be ideal supervisors for it.
We also need to have a federal law requiring the teaching of ethics and American governmental history, a national priority, to all before graduation and passing a test on it. If they did not pass the test they would not graduate. If they did not take the course, their high school’s Board and Superintendent could be prosecuted for a felony. This would work. Also their teacher would also take the test and if she/he failed, their termination would be mandatory by federal law.

Ivan Berry
7 years ago
Reply to  Thomas Eans

No, Thomas, none of it would work. All that bringing back the draft would do is increase the rate of population growth in Canada, and we already have too many federal laws. We don’t need any more.

Bill Barnes
7 years ago

Our SS is taxed at 50%. We fall under the 1980’s SS law “Windfall Elimination Provision” that reduces our SS based on our IRA’s that are considered a job related pension that activates the WEP.

Deweyflower
7 years ago
Reply to  Bill Barnes

I too was punished under the Windfall Exclusion. I worked for more than 10 year and paid into the SS system. However, because I did not have 10 “major” years, I lost over $300 a month. I believe that if you worked and paid into the system, regardless if you retired from an entity that had its own system, you should get your money. It’s my money, not the government’s. This article is right. SS is confiscatory.

Vinnie in Sun City
7 years ago

I was fortunate enough to be aware of the great rip-off at an early age. Why? because we still had “Teachers” at my school. As a result I was able to avoid being raped by the wealthy Washington hypocrites. I avoided Social Security
requirements when ever possible.

bbk
7 years ago

Soc. Sec. has another way of getting to us. I worked from the time I was 16 until I was nearly 40 and paid into SS. But–I worked for state government for and they opted out of SS and had their own system. When I retired I had figured that I would receive approximately $800 a month from SS plus my retirement. No! They are deducting a portion of my SS because I have my retirement plan. I kept getting statements from SS telling me I would get $804 based on my years of service—well I get $384! Those of us in my situation are being cheated out of money we should be receiving by not being given full credit for the years we paid into the system. It’s been kicked around in DC for years and several Senators and Representatives have said they “would look into it” but no one does anything about it. I retired when I was 55 and then went to work for myself—did I choose to pay into SS? No Way! They cheated me once and i was not going to give them more ammunition to cheat me more. Everyone who has a state pension plan should check this out.

Ron Perry
7 years ago
Reply to  bbk

I HAD 4 KIDS, SO AS AN ILLINOIS STATE TROOPER, I DID’NT GET PAID ENOUGH TO TAKE CARE OF THEM, SO I DID ANOTHER JOB AS WELL WORKING PART TIME FOR DEPT STORES IN SECURITY MOSTLY 7 DAYS A WEEK….MY WIFE ALSO WORKED FULL TIME, SO YOU CAN FIGURE IT WAS’NT EASY…I COOKED WHEN SHE WAS’NT THERE TO DO SO….WE BOTH WORKED AND PAID SOCIAL SECURITY AGAIN WHEN WE RETIRED AND BECAME REALTORS FOR ANOTHER 30 YEARS ..SO WE ENDED UP PAYING SOCIAL SECURITY FOR OVER 70 YRS !!!!!!!!!!!
AND NOW, BECAUSE I HAVE A STATE POLICE PENSION THAT I PAID INTO FOR 30 YEARS, IT WAS’NT A GIFT, I HAD TO PAY FOR MY PENSION,WE BOTH GET CHEATED OUT OF OUR FAIR SHARE…WE HAVE BEEN RETIRED AGAIN SINCE 2009, AND WE GET LESS THAN $1000.00 A MONTH APIECE !!!!!!! NOT ONLY THAT , BUT THE HEALTH INSURANCE I PAID FOR EVERY 2 WEEKS TO THE STATE OF ILLINOIS FOR HEALTH INSURANCE, FOR 30 YEARS,. THAT I WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE FOR LIFE AT NO COST AFTER MY RETIREMENT,, WAS CANCELLED. NO NOTICE,THEY JUST QUIT PAYING FOR IT…SO NOW WE HAD TO GO ON MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS, WITH CO-PAYS AND OTHER COSTS THAT WE HAD NOT HAD TO PAY BEFORE WE LOST OUR HEALTH CARE… THE PUBLIC DOES NOT PAY FOR MY PENSION, SUCH AS THE PERSON BELOW HERE STATES, I PAID FOR MY PENSION, THE PUBLIC DID NOT, OUR PAYMENTS WERE SUPPOSED TO BE KEPT IN ESCROW UNTIL RETIREMENT, BUT AS ALL GOVERNMENTS SEEM TO DO, THEY TOOK OUR MONEY AND SPENT IT IN THE GENERAL FUND…..

Michael Simpson
7 years ago

The real disparity is not what the various Social Security recipients get back verses what they put in. It is the disparity of what Public Employee Union members get back verses Social Security benefits. Public employees are exempt from Social Security and pay into a retirement fund that is professionally managed and allowed to grow. It is not touched by the politicians and does not pay out to anyone who doesn’t pay in. The retired public employees that I know get 70% of what they made when they were working in retirement. My Social Security benefit comes to less than 25% of what I made when I retired. Also the present pay scale for Public Employees seems to be higher than their counterparts in the private sector at least at the median level.Top level industry and banking management make much much more than the highest paid public servant. But for those of us in the middle income brackets our Public employee counterparts are better off not only in retirement but also throughout their earning years. And since 100% of their income comes from taxes, we are paying for their relative prosperity at the expense of our own.

Want to fix Social Security? Abscond with all of the Public Employee retirement funds, add them to the SS general fund and place all Public Employees on SS. This would definitely cause rioting in the streets and would not be fare to the retired and about to be retired Public employees. However, just restructuring the Social Security system without restructuring the present Public Employee Retirement isn’t fare to the tax payers who fund it all.

Deweyflower
7 years ago

I certainly did not get 70% of my salary. I got 50%. And I certainly earned that money–I took the brunt of the disdain for my position, even though I was a caseworker for child support and was helping women get their money. I am so sick and tired of people like Michael Simpson moaning about public employees’ retirement. I think he would be better off targeting Congress. Also, IF during Johnson’s Presidency, the government hadn’t decided to allow borrowing from Social Security WITHOUT paying it back with interest, we would all be in better shape. Michael, you need to look in other areas.

M.O,
7 years ago

and to not forget,most of the money in the public employee retirement fund,is paid for by the TAXPAYER.

NOT the government employee. JUST check out our man in the whitehouse and congress / senate

Michael Simpson
7 years ago

The present Social Security system is the biggest Ponzi scheme ever perpetrated on the American public. The original premise was for everyone to pay into the system. That didn’t last very long once the politicians got involved and traded what was right for votes. They started trading exceptions for votes and they started with themselves and their employees. If you are a member of a Public Employee’s Union, you don’t pay into Social Security. You pay into a private retirement fund that is reserved for you and your fellow members alone. Unlike Social Security none of the money that you and your employer put into this fund is taken away and given to someone else who did not contribute. Also unlike Social Security your Union can hire a fund manager who can invest your money and make grow. At a time when the liberal progressives were demonizing Big Tobacco, Public Employee Unions were heavily invested in tobacco stocks for their high rate of return. Apparently greed trumps morality once again. So what happened to the money that we and our employers put into Social Security. Was it invested and allowed to grow until which time it was needed for retirement? NO!! The same politicians that protected themselves and their Public Employee Union constituents “borrowed” the money, spent the money, and paid little if any interest on the “loan”. Now a Social Security System that was flush with money in the 1960’s is broke and adds to the national debt every year. If the money that was placed into the Social Security System in my name had been placed into a protected plan similar to the Public Employee Union plans my monthly Social Security check would be more than doubled. 100% of the money paid to Public Employees comes from some one else’s taxes. The tax payers get Social Security and the retired Public Employee in many cases gets 70% of what they made when they were working. The employee gets the gravy and the employers get the shaft.

I remember driving to work one day about thirty years ago listening to the radio when it was announced that there were more public employees than there were employees in manufacturing. I thought at the time that this was the beginning of the end. There didn’t seem to me that our society could survive with such a high percentage of the working population being supported by the taxes of the rest of us. Now I certainly realize that all public employees pay their fare share of taxes but it is only a fraction of what thy take home.

Howard Last
7 years ago

There is one major difference between a Ponzi Scheme and Social Security. No one was ever forced to join a Ponzi Scheme. Did Bernie Madoff put a gun to anyones head and say give me your money? So how come Bernie is in jail and the crooks and/or mental midgets in Washington are not? If SS is so great make it voluntary. I was self employed and put away about the same amount as FICA in my own retirement program, I am now getting a return an order of magnitude greater (that is 10 times) than SS. Call SS by its correct names, “Stealing from your children and grandchildren” or “bribing you with your own money”. The only solution to SS is to abolish it the sooner the better. The problem is how to make whole all our citizens who had their money stolen all these years. It can be done, just eliminate all the programs, departments, bureaus, regulations, etc. not authorized by the Constitution. The budget would be cut by better than 90%. The funds saved then could be used to pay back our citizens. Any thing other than abolishing SS is just continuing the scheme Joe Stalin’s best friend FDR put in place.

Paul
7 years ago
Reply to  Howard Last

100% agreement here!

Doug Pierson
7 years ago
Reply to  Howard Last

Well said. I also am in full agreement.

Meurice LeFevre
7 years ago

I am 77 years old and still work even though financially I could have retired 20 years ago. I secured my retirement without consideration of Social Security and pondered not accepting it when it became available. But then I recalled that while raising 7 children that I struggled for 45 years to pay into SS and because I owned my small business I actually paid double. I still pay double on the maximum and receive a SS payment smaller than many of my peers who paid in substantially less and retired 15-20 years ago. Go figure!

M.O,
7 years ago

Maybe you should retire since you are financially well off and maybe someone in need could take over your job??

Don,t be greedy,

Ratsky
7 years ago
Reply to  M.O,

M.O., you apparently wrote your reply without fully reading the post. Mr. LeFevre is SELF-EMPLOYED; nobody can “take over his job”! Now THAT is fuzzy thinking on your part!

Joe McHugh
7 years ago

Why are so many contributors arguing about the benefits of Social Security? Social Security is a socialist program that never should have been created.

F. D. Roosevelt instigated the program in the late 1930’s and it was enormously popular with the majority of the people. Human nature always appreciates government “assistance”. It was true in the ancient Roman times and it true today.
Social Security, Medicare, Obama Care and most of the other government help programs are redistribution schemes.
The people that make the most, receive less percentage wise than their fellow Americans.

A case can be made that all of the money a worker is forced to pay the government, could be invested in private retirement accounts with better returns. And the people who chose to spend now and pay later? They would work until they die. Life is all about choices, good choices are rewarded, bad choices earn punishment.

We, as a nation, are facing bankruptcy. The entitlement programs are unsustainable, we all know it but that doesn’t stop us from mortgaging our children and their children’s futures to get what we didn’t earn. Who would blame these future generations from feeling disgust for their parents in the decades to come?

I suggest that we all review the word “shame” in the dictionary. Most seem to have relegated that word into a ignored basket of archaic words. The majority of the voters, over the decades, are responsible for electing the representatives that foisted these government programs on us. Those are the people who have no shame.

PaulE
7 years ago
Reply to  Joe McHugh

Very well said Joe.

Ivan Berry
7 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

Funny how the “tax caps” tend to and appear to reward the higher earners, while the disparity in percentage of return rewards the lower earners. Weber makes no noise about that. This “old” article was revisited, seemingly for the sole purpose of energising us old SS recips to show that AMAC is on board with us. Every other paragraph was a repeat, over and over, of what had already been expressed.
I’m waiting for something constructive that can be done; something appearing here before it’s too late to do anything other than lie down and take it. Wasted effort accomplishes nothing.

PaulE
7 years ago
Reply to  Ivan Berry

Hi Ivan,

I think AMAC resurrected this article simply because they are still pushing their solution around Washington. Like any organization, they want to energize their base to call their Congressional representatives to advocate for it. The problem, at least from my perspective, is their solution really isn’t one. At least not one that addresses the inherent design flaws within the system and radically re-designs the system for future beneficiaries to make it both sustainable and improve real returns. I agree with you. A lot of the article is just endless repetition of the same points over and over again that have been covered here numerous times.

Deweyflower
7 years ago
Reply to  Ivan Berry

Me, too.

Lincoln Sorensen
7 years ago
Reply to  Joe McHugh

Joe, individual retirement accounts are available today. They weren’t back when. Savings accounts back when paid a pittance and surely would not have accumulated any retirement fund since after WWII the rate of inflation was excessive. By the 70’s the cost of major items even homes required a 2 mamber of family income. The house in a rural Nashville subdivision I bought in 1965 was a 3BR 2 bath with A/C attached 2 car carport and utility room on one acre cost me $12,500.00. I can get a 4yo economy used car for that today. That house still exists and is occupied and is worth on the market about $300,000.00. Had there been no SS and I saved $5.00 per week till I retired in 2009 and about midway through that time started investing, I would have lost my ass in the years of the 70’s and again in 2008 and 2009 when I was just about to retire I would have lost it again only worse. I would be existing now on the pittance of a reverse mortgage on that old house that I’m sure the federal appraiserswould evaluate at about $70,000.00. So, Joe, I do not like what has been done to SS. If it had been left alone and been invested it would be financially flush now and forevermore and on top of that the politicians wouldn’t have to be searching for finagling ways to calculat COLA to keep the increases to way below the actual inflation rate. If the politicians had any sense they would quit stealing from the seniors and realize that if the seniors had a livable income from SS they have the time and would then have the wherewithall to travel, buy a new car and spread the wealth so the feds wouldn’t have to find sneaky ways to do that. Wake Up America!!! RUN BEN RUN !!!!!

Fran
7 years ago
Reply to  Joe McHugh

You state Social Security should have never been created. Does anyone recall Hoovervilles from the previous administration?

Joe McHugh
7 years ago
Reply to  Fran

Fran, what?? The former soldiers of WW1 set up an encampment in Washington, D.C. as a protest against the government’s reneging on providing certain benefits to those same veterans. In truth, promises were made in this matter but no supporting legislation was passed into law. This was just another case of politicians making promises that they couldn’t or wouldn’t bring about.

However, the Social Security Act was passed into law but it was very short sighted. Even in 1936, the life expectancy was edging up. While the life expectancy was less than the age of 62 for men at that time it is 76 years for men now. Several half-hearted attempts were made to address the funding weakness of the Social Security program since the 1960’s but no politician really wanted to call for what was needed.

Delaying the retirement age to match the average life expectancy increases would have helped. The withholding of payments of the people who died before reaching the retirement age would have helped to offset the payouts to those that lived beyond that age.

The real problem was caused by the politicians who are fond of making promises that are financially unsound. This is the real problem with American government. All government programs that give taxpayer money to individuals, and not identified as being a Constitutional requirement, are essentially bribes to get more votes at election time. Taking money from Peter to pay Paul always makes Paul very happy. However, Peter eventually becomes miffed when his taxes reduce what his family has left to live on. This is the essence of socialism. This is the reason that socialism always leads to the destruction of the society. You know, remember when your mother told you that there is no such thing as a free lunch, and that you always have to work for what you want.

Well, the Piper will be coming for his compensation and I O. U.s will not satisfy him. This Piper holds the Treasury Notes and the Government Bonds that are really loans to the United States government. At some point, the Federal Reserve will have to raise the interest rates to their normal levels. When the government has to borrow money to pay for those higher interest rates, the American dollar will be exposed to default.

Not to worry, our trusted representatives will simply authorize the federal Reserve to print up more dollars to pay the bills. There, now doesn’t that make you feel better about all of this?

Dan Miles
7 years ago
Reply to  Joe McHugh

Also note that on many of our SS cards it reads “Not for Identification”
This was a major hurdle the government needed to assure would not happen in order to pass this first vestage of socialism.
Notice this is no longer on your childrens or grandchildrens SS card and that rather than getting it when they first start working, they get it when they first start crying now.
Republican politicians the same as the socialists and will not fight for freedom.

Dee
7 years ago

Many years ago the dumocrats put the social security fund in the general fund so that they could pay for their pet projects. It should be put back where it was. This fund is not for them to use as they see fit. The Republicans probably helped themselves to it also.

Tim
7 years ago
Reply to  Dee

Dee You are right why have they not paid the moneys back . Unexceptable !!

Paul
7 years ago
Reply to  Dee

That’s when it became a Ponzi scheme. Before that it was a Pyramid scheme…both of which other people are in jail for.

tom
7 years ago

S.S. is running out of money because the politicians are letting anyone and everyone to collect, even if they never put a penny into it! People from other countries and illegal aliens are collecting, while the people we are paying just give every penny of ours away to anyone! Time to vote them all out, and sort through the very few that are doing their job. I’m sick of hearing how these life long politicians finally retire and retire millionaires, all of our money, while we struggle to pay our bills and survive..

Barry
7 years ago
Reply to  tom

No Changes until all the loafers are removed from the SS disability side. The feds are propping up the disability side of SS by taking money from the retirement fund. Politicians want to increase contributions while avoiding the hard work of removing the ones getting a free ride. AND, Tom is right. Remove and do not allow people who never contributed from receiving a single penny.

BobA
7 years ago

Doesn’t seem right that after working almost 50 years and paying into SS all that time with the tax amount based on my gross income, that now when is start collecting I am taxed again.

Franc
7 years ago
Reply to  BobA

When Bill Clinton got elected one of the first things he did in 1993 was to tax SS and to this day the older liberals denied he did this. All they remember is the interest rates were up and their bank accounts were making high CD interest rates. I have spoken to many and they never even cared that Clinton taxed the SS at 85% because he was a Democrat. Now years after the heavy taxes and the low cost of living increases and all the spending has made most of these people very low income and struggling to live. But they still won`t acknowledge it was Clinton and the Democrats who made the SS worse for them.

Now we all are suffering for these actions and they want Hillary? It seems that the Democrats have figured out that most of the American voters are stupid and not informed and they just love getting screwed over and over. The Republicans have no backbone and are to afraid of losing their cushy jobs so they stand by and keep their mouths shut and do nothing. Obama just keeps doing anything he can to bring America down and everyone sits back and watches as the illegals poor in and are given SS and other benefits that we have worked for and do not receive any were nears what we should and can not even pay our bills because of all the increases.

What is next death squads to eliminate the elderly and we all line up like the Jews did to save expenses? When will the people ever wake up or will they?

Lincoln Sorensen
7 years ago
Reply to  Franc

Franc, we have a Messiah on the scene. His name is Dr. Ben Carson. Hopefully, he will announce the 1st of May he is a candidate for President. He was a democrat, then an independent and is recently a registered Republican. He currently runs third in many polls. He will not receive any money from special interests as he is emphatically against them. He is a breath of fresh air. His ideas are well thought out and he details them rather than spewing the same old rhetoric and then when elected goes to performing forr the special interests. Do you know the biggest contributor to the US economy is the big Pharmedeutical companies. They are also the strongest special interests and lobbyists, also. Why do you think there is no dental coverage in Medicare. Medicare is for seniors. Seniors have more need for dental care than the younger ones. The politicians knew dental should be in Medicare. Pharma said no. Why? Because when dental hygeine suffers from lack of care due to financial peoblems, IE; elderly on SS, they aremore susceptible to other illnesses. Other illnesses mean medicare covered dr visits where prescriptions are written and Medicare pays and big Pharma reaps. By the way, TVA hospitals have dental clinics but they do not provide any dental care to vets unless they are rated 100% disability by virtue of war related injuries. Wonder who made that rule. After all the VA hospitals are run by the veterans administration who is “looking after” our veterans. I am one and proud of it, but I am decreasingly proud of my corrupt and once proud nation.

Keith O'Hanlon
7 years ago

Lincoln, you hit the nail squarely on the head. As Veterans, I feel that we EARNED a decent dental plan. One at least half as good as our members of congress get, anyway. (imagine that)
I’d love to hear that Dr. Carson is throwing his hat in the ring, but I fear that the Republican establishment will attack him hard and fast. Ben Carson scares the hell out of the establishment RINOs, and they’ll spend a lot of money trying to knock him out of the race. We’re going to need divine intervention and a lot of money to get someone like Dr. Ben Carson into the whitehouse.

60
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x