PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA

Letters

Social Security is not a federal benefit

By From page A7 | March 15, 2013

EDITOR:

The politicians are now referring to SOCIAL SECURITY as the Federal Benefit Payment. This is not a benefit … it is eamed income. Not only did we wage earners contribute to Social Security, our employers also contributed on the wage earners behalf. It totaled 15 percent of our income before taxes, and if you averaged $30,000 per year over your working life, you have nearly invested $180,000 in Social Security.

If you calculate the future value of your monthly investment in Social Security ($375 per month, which includes both you and your employer’s contribution) at a meager 1 percent interest rate compounded monthly, after 40 years of working you would have a personal investment of more than $1.3 million dollars saved.

Upon retirement, if you reduced your investment by only 3 percent per year, you would receive $39,318 per year, or $3,277 per month, which is almost three times more than today’s average Social Security payment of $1,230 (Google Social Security Administration information).

And, your retirement fund would last more than 33 years (until you are 98 years old, if you retire at age 65). I can only imagine how much better most average-income people could live during retirement if our government had just invested our money in low-risk interest-earning accounts.

Instead, the politicians in Washinglon pulled off a bigger Ponzi scheme than Bernie Madoff ever thought of. They took our invested money and used it elsewhere, conveniently forgetting that it was “our” money they were taking, never considering a referendum to ask us, the contributors, if we wanted to lend them our money.

We, the contributors, did not receive interest on the debt they assumed, and recently began inforrning us that their invested money will not support us for very much longer, insinuating it was our fault they misused our investment.

Now, adding insult to injury, the government is calling Social Security a”benefit,” as if we never worked to earn every penny of it. Just because they “borrowed” the money, does not mean that our investment in Social Security was a charity.

It is time to make a stand. Inform our legislators that we have earned our rights to Social Security and Medicare and it is their responsibility to insert some sense into our government and find a way to keep Social Security and Medicare funded, for the sake of the 92 percent of our population who need it. And, call it what it really is, our earned retirement income.

RAY SHERWOOD
Placerville

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