Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Social Security: One American's Account

This letter appeared in last week's The New American (March 7), and seems worth archiving here. A more down-at-home perspective on where we are at, or how it is definitely happening here.

Fraud of Social Security

Your articles on Social Security in your February 21 issue were vey informative, but they left out one very important thing. Policemen, firemen, and teachers are being denied 60 percent of their Social Security benefits. Are you next? What kind of "needs" test will be applied to you? Here is my experience with "trusting government."

I was a police officer for 24 years and retired in 1989. I was also a U.S. Marine, a wood carver, an outdoor writer for a local paper, and a charter captain.

When I went to the Social Security office to apply for my benefits at age 62, the first thing I noticed was an armed guard at the door. I laughed to myself at that one. Next I noticed that there were about six windows with clerks behind them. Each window was fitted with a heavy door, presumably meant to protect the clerk from an outraged client. Once I was seated I looked around and discovered that I was the only senior citizen there! The other 30 or so people were all young, and many had children. I am reminded that as a senior I am accused of depleting the Social Security funds by the very act of surviving long enough to be able to qualify for them.

This whole scenario is a fraud. For 22 years I paid into Social Security because police pay was not that good and almost all of us had several part-time jobs. On these jobs you paid Social Security. Every year I got a statement from Social Security saying what my benefits would be when I reached retirement age. The last one said I would receive $550.00 per month, and that is what I planned on. The first shock came when the clerk reduced my benefits by 20 percent because I applied at age 62 in 2002. The next one came when she reduced the remainder by 60 percent because I had a Police Retirement. My benefits are now at $174 per month. The heavy doors in each clerk's booth were meant for people like me, naive enough to believe that I would actually receive what I had worked for.

Had the funds that I had contributed to Social Security been placed in some sort of protected investment, it would have been out of the hands of scheming politicians who can erase your wealth with the stroke of a pen. Instead of saying I planned wisely for my retirement, I am branded a greedy double-dipper. I hope President Bush can right thsi wrong and protect future retirees from politicians and their wealth redistribution schemes.


Note: I wouldn't count on Bush, since he is a politician, too. Does anyone really think that the politicians are going to leave anything alone involving a person's money in this day and age?

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