I heard stories of people having just one pair of shoes. When the sole of the shoe wore out, the lady put a piece of cardboard in the shoe to cover the hole. You could also get soles to glue onto the shoe. That rarely worked right. The sole came off. Flop Flop Flop ...the sound of walking with the sole coming off.
I heard stories of children not paying attention in school. When questioned, they answered that it was their brothers turn to eat that day. The child was hungry. You could tell who was poor by looking at their mouth. Poor kids had lots of cavities, as they could not go to the dentist. Children who did not have good nutrition developed health problems. They had colds all the time. They cought what ever was going around...including polio. They wore clothes that didn't keep them warm. The school nurse looked for head lice and found them. They looked tired, sallow, with thin limp hair. I saw this myself, living in the inner city.
President Roosevelt started social security so that those terrible days would not repeat. Social security is a mandated savings program. I had money taken out of my paycheck and sent to the federal government for safe keeping. My boss matched what I paid into the system. In turn, I am promised that this money shall be safe guarded and returned to me when I retire, or if I am disabled. I am promised a set amount of money every month, with an adjustment for inflation. I contributed a lifetime of working...adding to my social security account.
Unfortunately, the government could not keep its hands off that money. They added it to the tax revenue stream. SOCIAL SECURITY ISN'T A TAX. IT IS A SAVINGS PROGRAM. Social security money should never be used as a revenue for the federal government. Instead, social security money should be separated from the government and safe guarded by a quasi government agency that prevents the US government from getting at that money. That agency should be charged to invest that money conservatively. Overhead of the agency should be restricted, so that positions in the agency do not become political plums to be handed out to those loyal to the party.
Currently, all that is in the social security pot is a big IOU. I think the citizens of our country would be shocked to learn how broke We are. If We could see the actual debit and credit line, We would throw all the politicians out of office, or storm Washington. Failies have to live within their means. So should the government.
In January, I got my social security statement, showing me what my monthly payment will be for the year. There is a new line on the statement. It wasn't there last year. It says "income-related monthly adjustment amount based on your 2007 income tax return". This means that they are reducing my social security payment because I've reached some sort of financial ceiling that I don't understand. This means that my benefit isn't based on my contributions plus cost of living adjustment. The government changes the rules and I have no recourse This means they may change the rules again next year.
I wish that my social security contribution wasn't in the hands of the government. To make it worse, I, like many others, invested my IRA and pension money in the stock market. I got good advice, diversified my holdings, balanced stocks with bonds, sheltered some money in a tax free investment. The result of a life time of sacrifice, is my accounts are down the same percentage points as the stock market is down. Thank goodness I don't have a mortgage. But, how shall I pay my taxes? What shall I do when my old truck...my only means of transportation...what shall I do when I have to replace it? What if I get a serious illness? How shall I pay for medical care?
I understand that good minds are working on these problems. They had better hurry up.
Labels: Social Security