Frank talk about Social Security
I just hung up, after being on hold for over an hour, from the Social Security office. They may need to recalculate my benefits as I am not receiving the full amount I am entitled to.
FDR signed the Social Security Act in 1935. One of the benefits was to ward off being penniless when, at that time, workers were forced to retire no later than, at the age of 65. The monies, were financed by a payroll tax on workers’ wages, half directly as a payroll tax from them, and half paid by the employer. Self-employed workers, which I have been for more than forty years, pay the full amount, which is enforced by Social Security.
I’m not sure when the word entitlement, the definition being; the fact or amount in which a person has a right, came into use. But currently the word has come to be defined, not by how it was originally intended, but today’s definition, which is, the belief that one is, inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.
Speaking for myself and others in similar situations who are frustratingly bombarded from the news media, Congress, and pundits who speak out on almost anything and everything, I take umbrage.
The present day use of the words entitlement and benefits are far from the genuineness of the original and effective program, which had it been able to operate unilaterally, may have been a federal program that actually worked!
Since the age of sixteen, I have been paying into the SS System. For more than forty years, being self-employed in the business of real estate, I fully funded my FICA, paying the maximum required.
When I became of retirement age I continued paying into the program; working years past the time I was entitled to receiving my benefits. One of the definitions of benefit is, a payment or gift made by an employer, state or insurance company. REALLY???
Although not an actuary nor schooled in the world of finance I will chance saying I will not live to see the return of my investment; that of compulsory savings, for more than fifty years, through SS. Will the program calculate what I contributed and send the remainder to my heirs? I think not. Any other personal investments would.
As an aside, one of my pet peeves regarding this program is, when was the last time you heard a public talking head explain that SS was not a retirement gift doled out in order to live? Why isn’t the public informed, in simple terms, that this money is to be, in addition to one’s savings, to supplement their retirement income not to totally fund it?
The Social Security Program was and should have remained a autonomous program and separately funded, NOT, co-mingled into the general fund of the government thus allowing the funds to be usurped.
When I was in high school, in the 1950’s I read an article attributed to Barry Goldwater. He explained how the system was set up and how it would work. By self- funding the program and with interest generated from SS payments, it would never run out of money. How or when did our leaders allow this program to run amok and scare many retirees, who may not have sufficient personal savings to live on? How often are we subjected to the threat that the program will ‘run out of money’.
It should never run out of money!
This diatribe is not to condemn the program but wanting better clarification and understanding and defining of it, by the public domain, to anxious and uninformed citizens who rely on the media for facts.
I look forward to your comments.